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Economy

Govt says oil pipeline to be complete in early 2021

Workers reconstruct an oil pipeline in South Sudan: Kenya had made it clear to Uganda and Tanzania that it will soldier on to construct its own pipeline after the talks collapsed in Kampala last Friday. FILE PHOTO | AFP
Workers reconstruct an oil pipeline in South Sudan: Kenya had made it clear to Uganda and Tanzania that it will soldier on to construct its own pipeline after the talks collapsed in Kampala last Friday. FILE PHOTO | AFP 

The proposed oil pipeline from Lokichar to Lamu via Isiolo will be live by the second quarter of 2021, Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter told a parliamentary committee Wednesday.

Mr Keter said Kenya will construct the pipeline at a cost of $4.2 billion (around Sh424 billion).

He said the decision by Uganda to build an oil pipeline from Hoima through Tanga in Tanzania may have been influenced by Kenya's failure to develop the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport (Lapsett) corridor “which was dead by December last year”.

“I cannot deny that we delayed in doing the Lamu port which should have been done a long time ago. Lapsett had died until December when President Uhuru Kenyatta went there and saw the need to revive it. We now have Sh5 billion allocated in the in mini budget to revive it. If we had done the Lamu port and the road network, may be it would have helped Uganda to make the decision to transport its crude oil through Kenya,” Mr Keter said in response to questions raised by committee vice chairperson Dan Mwazo.

The CS expressed regret that Kenya was excluded from make or break talks between Tanzania and Uganda's energy ministries, effectively locking Kenya out of making its case to the east African partner States.

Kenya now plans to transport about 2,000 barrels of crude oil per day by road from Lokichar to Eldoret and then use the railway to Mombasa even as it constructs a new pipeline along the Kenya North route to Lamu.

“Going forward, our early pilot scheme includes the ongoing road-rail and pipeline-rail,” Mr Keter told the Senate committee on Energy in a brief on the Hoima-Lokichar-Lamu port crude oil pipeline project.

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