The opening of the bigger Mombasa-Nairobi petroleum pipeline has now paved the way for laying of more feeder pipes to interior towns across the country in what is expected to take long distance trucks off the roads.
The Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) on Wednesday switched on the 20-inch pipe that will run parallel to the ageing 14-inch line that had suffered partial blockages, restricting fuel flow and causing supply delays.
The new line will now enable speedy evacuation of fuel from Mombasa port and cut waiting time and costs.
“The line will eliminate hundreds of trucks daily, safeguarding against road degradation and environmental pollution arising from continued trucking of products,” said KPC Managing Director Joe Sang.
Construction of the new pipeline was dogged by years of delays and cost overruns that are currently under investigation by various State agencies.
Mr Sang expects the larger line to slash demurrage charges payable to shipping lines whenever imported fuel is not discharged on time, costs that are passed on to consumers.
The pipeline company last year conducted feasibility studies on the plan to devolve the pipeline network to counties.