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Kisumu oil jetty operationalized

Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) has rolled out operations at the Sh2 billion Kisumu oil jetty.

Completed in 2018, the facility which has been lying idle is set to ease transportation of petroleum products from the Kisumu KPC depot to Uganda by ship through Lake Victoria.

This follows the successful completion of docking and storage facilities at Bukasa in the neighbouring Uganda.

Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary (CS) Davis Chirchir said the facility will boost fuel trade by ensuring seamless evacuation of the products from the port of Mombasa to Uganda for onward transmission to South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“This is a great achievement for our economies in terms of building inter country trade within our region,” he said.

The two vessels ferrying the products from Kisumu, he said have capacity of 4.5 million litres each adding that this will go a long way in addressing the numerous challenges encountered transporting the commodity by road.

“The 4.5 million litres carried by one vessel is equivalent to 135 tracks. This is going to save time taken to transport the commodity,” he said.

Other challenges among them accidents and cases of fuel adulteration associated with transportation of the commodity by road shall also be addressed.

The CS who led members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on energy on a tour of the facility said so far the facility has done five trips with 20 million litres shipped to Uganda since the jetty started operations early this year.

Currently, he said KPC was doing one trip per week adding that three more vessels were being sourced to increase the number of trips.

The Mahathi Fuel Transport and Storage facility in Bugiri, Uganda where the product is offloaded, he said has a capacity of 70 million litres adding that there was urgent need to increase the number of trips to fill the tank.

From the Mahathi facility, the fuel is loaded onto tracks for onward transmission of the products to South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC.

To make the facilities efficient, the speed of loading and offloading, he said has been improved for quick movement of the products.

Kenya, he disclosed was seeking partnership with Uganda to build a pipeline from the Mahathi facility to push the products further inland.

“We are obligated to serve the landlocked countries and it is our obligation to provide state of the art services,” said the CS.

By Chris Mahandara

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