KPC Commences Charm Offensive into Rwanda with eyes on Lost Regional Oil Market
KPC has devised a new strategy which will significantly boost Kenya’s chances of regaining its share of the East African petroleum market with improved fuel supply to the neighbouring countries. During a recent trip to Rwanda by KPC’s top strategy executives, it emerged that Kenya’s grip in the regional market has been shaken by Tanzania’s Central Corridor which is said to have less market entry barriers than the Kenyan route.
“Now than ever before, KPC is determined to improve service delivery to Rwanda and the entire regional market which has significantly declined in the recent past,” announced Martin Kimani who is KPC’s General Manager (Strategy) to a team of oil marketing companies (OMCs) in Kigali. The strategy team held one-on-one discussions with major OMCs in Rwanda which included Societe Petroliere (SP), Kenol-Kobil, Energy Resources Petroleum Limited (ERP), and Oryx Energy where real time solutions to the challenges facing the market were deliberated on and workable solutions sought.
The visit, whose aim was to meet the customers and other key stakeholders so as to highlight service delivery improvements that the Company has undertaken or is implementing, was in line with KPC’s Vision 2025, a transformational plan geared towards transforming KPC into a diversified oil and gas business from the petroleum products transport company it is today. This will be achieved through, among others, positioning Kenya as the leading oil and gas hub in the region creating new opportunities in the sector.
The engagement was critical in establishing contacts with key stakeholders from Rwanda, Burundi, and Eastern DRC market with a view to gathering information on why customers have preferred the Central Corridor supply route to the Northern Corridor where the KPC pipeline network traverses.
“KPC now has enhanced infrastructure which has led to improved petroleum product availability in Western Kenya which has made access to Rwanda market much easier than before. The new Sinendet-Kisumu pipeline which is now fully operational has enhanced petroleum product availability in Western Kenya and the export market comprising Uganda, Eastern DRC, Burundi, Northern Tanzania and of course here in Rwanda,” Martin said during a stakeholders’ cocktail/dinner at Serena Hotel, Kigali attended by the Kenyan High Commission officials, key OMCs, representatives from Ministry of Commerce (MINICOM) and Ministry of Infrastructure (MINIFRA).
The KPC team, which also included the General Manager (Operations and Maintenance) Engineer Peter Mbugua, Senior Business Development Officer Simon Sang and Business Development Officer Grace Njoroge, held discussions with other stakeholders who have direct and indirect impact on the petroleum business such as the Rwanda Revenue Authority and Kenya Ports Authority.
Engineer Mbugua reiterated in several forums that the increase of ullage through the acquisition of Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited’s white fuel storage tanks with a capacity of 140 million litres, Konza Petrocity depot with a 38.5 million litre capacity and the construction of additional 133 million litre capacity storage tanks in Nairobi are an eloquent testimony that it is no longer business as usual in KPC.
“KPC has now taken over the role of capacity sharing and automation of the same in Kenya to make it more efficient and transparent. We want to operate our terminals with world class efficiency,” Mbugua assured the stakeholders. “The soon to be completed bottom – loading facilities in Eldoret which will improve loading and truck turnaround for customers not to mention the ongoing construction of the Mombasa–Nairobi pipeline are a demonstration from us that we are now open for business with Africa and the region,” said Mbugua, formerly a top operations executive with the oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil Corporation.
KPC delegation in Rwanda.
The Oil Marketing Companies in Kigali appreciated the KPC gesture and vowed to bring back the business to KPC Western Kenya Depots. “Having listened to the KPC team, the future looks bright and we are confident that we will bring back the business and help you reclaim the lost market,” promised an OMC representative.