5 December 2017

East Africa: Kenya's Plan to Recapture Region's Fuel Market

Kenya has moved to recapture the Great Lakes Region's fuel market after losing a share of it to Tanzania due to allegations of adulteration and long queues at the Eldoret depot.

The Kenya Pipeline Company has finished installing new loading facilities in the Eldoret fuel depot, which has cut the loading time by and effectively raised the amount of fuel transported to the Great Lakes Region from 4 million litres to 6.5 million litres daily.

The depot serves fuel exporters to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Long queues

Kenya has embarked on a charm offensive to recapture lost market share after Rwanda, Burundi and DRC in 2016 opted to import fuel through the Central Corridor from the Dar es Salaam port, citing long tanker queues at the depot and adulteration of products.

Transit products are not subjected to upfront taxes in Kenya and Tanzania and there have been reports of diversion of export fuel into the local market. The two countries have stepped up efforts to curb adulteration of petrol and diesel.

The $3.3 million upgrade of the Eldoret depot with bottom truck loading facilities is expected to improve safety and efficiency in loading of trucks. Bottom loading, as opposed to top loading, is the globally accepted practice.

Joe Sang, KPC managing director, said evacuation of export petroleum products in Eldoret has increased by 2.5 million litres per day.

The shorter loading time is expected to maximise utilisation of the two parallel pipelines from Nairobi to Eldoret.

"Because of this efficiency, there will be no need for trucks to drive all the way to Nairobi," said Mr Sang.

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