New dawn beckons as KPC is set to complete key projects
Kenya and the region as are set to enter a new period of more efficiency and improved service delivery in fuel supply logistics as KPC completes key projects soon. KPC Managing Director Joe Sang made this announcement last week while addressing members of staff who took part in the annual end of year games in Eldoret National Polytechnic. The company is currently undertaking a number of essential petroleum infrastructure projects to enhance the availability of fuel in Kenya and neighbouring countries which constitute replacement of pipelines, enhancement of storage capacity and investment in loading facilities
“As KPC, we have a huge responsibility in ensuring that fuel gets to our people in time for them to take part in nation building. That is why all our eyes are now set on completion of the new Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline (Line 5), the storage tanks in Nairobi Terminal and also the Kisumu Oil Jetty in the next few weeks,” Sang said.
“As management, we are cognizant of the projects’ strategic value and the scale of impact they are going to generate. That is why our engineers and other technical staff are working round the clock with respective contractors to complete these projects,” the KPC boss added.
Once these projects are commissioned, Kenya will be assured of adequate, reliable and cost effective supply of petroleum products across the region. It is important to point out that increase in local and regional demand for petroleum products has in recent years not been matched by the development of requisite infrastructure to meet supply chain and market requirements. This is the strategic gap that KPC seeks to bridge in order to fuel the national and regional economies
In a recent session of a rapid results team that has been put in place to fast track the completion of the projects, KPC General Manager in charge of Infrastructure Engineer Billy Aseka, said that regional demand for refined petroleum has increased to 13 per cent of Kenya’s total exports making it the country’s third largest export product after tea and cut flowers. He added that last year alone, Kenya exported about 2 billion litres of refined petroleum products to the five East African countries and the Democratic Republic of Congo with Uganda leading the pack having imported products worth over 1 billion shillings.
Completion of the pipeline from Sinendet to Kisumu (Line 6) in 2016 has already boosted petroleum product availability in the Western Kenya and the export market of Uganda, Eastern DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Northern Tanzania. In addition, the installation of additional loading facilities to cope with the rising demand for petroleum products uplifts at KPC Eldoret depot, which serves Western Kenya and the neighbouring countries, is complete and the new facility is expected to enhance the country’s fuel exports in the medium to long term. Since the new truck loading facility became operational in July this year, evacuation of product in Eldoret has increased from 4 million litres per day to a massive 6.5 million litres per day. This has increased service delivery efficiency in the depot while maximizing the full benefits of the Nairobi-Eldoret pipelines. Because of this intervention, there will be no need for trucks to drive all the way to Nairobi to fetch fuel thus unnecessarily increasing local pump prices.
Ongoing construction of the Kisumu Oil Jetty on the shores of Lake Victoria will go a long way towards boosting fuel exports to East Africa through Uganda and Tanzania. The jetty is expected to boost throughput in Kisumu by 1 billion litres a year in phase 1 and up to 3 billion litres per year by 2028. With such volumes, the project has the potential to turn Kisumu into a focal point of oil and gas commerce in the region making it one of the busiest inland ports in Africa.
The above projects have been ongoing alongside the Kshs 48 billion new Mombasa-Nairobi oil pipeline project (Line 5), the country’s second largest infrastructural undertaking, which is now in the final phase of development. The completion of this project raises hopes of lower road maintenance costs given the hundreds of trucks the new line will remove from the country’s roads. The new line will see installation of 4 new pump stations in Changamwe, Maungu, Mtito Andei and Sultan Hamud and 2 booster pumps in Kipevu all complete with new firefighting systems together with other energy efficient equipment and pipeline monitoring technologies for efficiency and safety in fuel supply logistics in Kenya and the region.
With the imminent completion of Line 5, there is need for enhanced operational flexibility in Nairobi given the higher volumes of fuel that will be pumped upstream. In line with this, KPC has already erected four additional tanks in Nairobi Terminal to provide sufficient capacity for receipt of higher volumes of diesel, super petrol and jet fuel products once the new line is operationalized. The commissioning of these tanks is also expected to take place alongside that of Line 5 and the Kisumu Oil jetty.
“By broadly investing in these infrastructure projects that improve on how fuel gets to our customers and consumers, the country has the opportunity to bolster regional business and strength her ties with the neighbouring countries as we strive to transform the lives of our people,” said Sang.