NAIROBI, JULY 11, 2018 ― Kenya has reaffirmed its position as the region’s top fuel distributor with the new US$476.6 million (Ksh48 billion) Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline coming into operation.
The first batch of fuel on the new 450-Kilometre pipeline has been successfully delivered to the Kenya Pipeline Company Nairobi depot, paving way for the commissioning of the pipeline.
The 20-inch Mombasa – Nairobi Pipeline is a Vision 2030 flagship project which seeks to ensure sustained, reliable and efficient transportation of petroleum products in the region and meet demand over the next 30 years.
The company has also completed construction of four new storage tanks that will provide sufficient capacity for receipt of higher volumes of products expected once Line 5 is commissioned.
The four tanks will not only increase storage capacity in Nairobi by 133 million litres, but they will also enhance operational flexibility and increase tank turnaround for the Kipevu Oil Storage Facility (KOSF) in Mombasa.
The project gives Kenya a competitive edge over its peers on fuel distribution, especially Tanzania which also has a port facility to handle imports.
Speaking during the ceremony to receive line 5 product and inspection of new storage tanks at the KPC Nairobi terminal, Cabinet Secretary for Petroleum and Mining, John Munyes, said new line will ensure timely transportation of petroleum and reduction in losses as experienced in the old pipeline.
“Line 5 will be a turning point in the transportation of oil in the country and the region as a whole: from ensuring sustained, reliable and efficient transportation of petroleum products in the region to safety in transportation of petroleum,” CS Munyes said.
He added: “As a result of the bigger storage capacity, the country and the region are now assured of security of supply but most importantly, there will be a reduction of demurrage charges because ships will not have to wait for long to dispense product. This will ultimately bring down the fuel prices for Kenyans.”
KPC Managing Director, Joe Sang said the new pipeline will adequately serve the country and the region’s petroleum demand which is projected rise to 11.4 billion litres in 2020 once it is commissioned.
“The new pipeline will also enhance and improve the reliability of fuel supply to the export market of Uganda, Rwanda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Sang.
Sang said that Line 5 will not only transform the petroleum sector but also have a positive impact on the environment and road transport by eliminating hundreds of trucks that transport fuel between Mombasa and Nairobi on a daily basis.
“The line will eliminate an estimated 700 trucks per day safeguarding against Road degradation and environmental pollution arising out of continued trucking of products. In effect this will also boost road safety and protect the public from the risks associated with transporting fuel by road,” Sang added.
Currently, KPC pumps 80 per cent of all imported oil products in the country with the remaining 20 per cent being transported by road.