Munyes says Kenya to aid Uganda finalise jetties

Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes.
Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya has committed to support Ugandan authorities to complete their oil jetties in Entebbe and Jinja to enhance the viability of Sh1.7 billion Kisumu’s new oil terminal.

Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes termed as unfortunate that the billion-investment remains idle due to the delays by the neighbouring country to finish construction of its facility.

Due to the delay, official launch of the Kisumu project, which was completed over five months ago, remains uncertain as Kampala continues to work on their oil jetties and storage terminals.

While he did not indicate the kind of assistance the Kenyan government will offer, Mr Munyes expressed optimism that the investment will pay back in three years.

“Through the jetty, Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) is expected to ferry 4.7 million litres of petroleum products, which is equivalent to over 100 trucks on the road per day and greatly reduce accidents and traffic,” said Munyes.

Mr Munyes announced that a government delegation will visit Uganda in a fortnight to check on the progress and challenges that their counterparts could be facing.

“We appreciate that different countries are operating under different circumstances and we want to establish what problems they could be facing,” the CS said after visiting KPC depot in Kisumu last week.

“I can assure Kenyans that this is not going to be a white elephant and they stand to benefit a great deal from the initiative which is projected to spur East Africa’s oil transport,” he said.

The CS pointed out that the roll out of the project will massively bring down the cost of transporting petroleum products, which is estimated to drop by between 40 percent and 50 percent.

KPC managing director Joe Sang’ said the jetty will re-position the firm and enable the company to regain the market share it lost to neighbouring Tanzania, mainly due to the unavailability of petroleum products in western Kenya.

The Kisumu oil terminal is expected to increase petroleum supply to landlocked Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“This is a big milestone for the country and we hope to launch it soon and save the country the heavy burden of trucking crude oil,” he said. He confirmed that a test run has been conducted at the Kisumu facility which was found to be in good shape.

At the same time, the KPC boss revealed that they will install a leak detection system (LDS) and the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to prevent pilferage of fuel on their lines.

“The implementation of the modern techniques will put an end to siphoning of petroleum products as the sophisticated system can detect up to one per cent leak,” he said.