KPA bets on million-shilling technology to curb fuel theft

Kenya Ports Authority managing director Catherine Mturi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kenya Ports Authority managing director Catherine Mturi-Wairi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has acquired two smart fuel dispensing bowsers at a total cost of Sh54 million in a move expected to eliminate fuel losses associated with siphoning.

The technology, which introduces remote recording of fuel deliveries as a means of efficient management of resources, will do away with human intervention in refuelling of terminal equipment.

KPA head of conventional cargo engineering, Felix Ong’wen, said the bowsers were designed to end theft of the commodity.

“The equipment incorporates digital gauging system that uses smart product identification to measure fuel tanks. The bowsers will aid in ensuring an audit trail of fuel movement such that the date, time, and location is recorded, regardless of whether a pump or meter is used,” he said.

The bowsers are also equipped with technology that aids in quality control with the ability to detect foreign liquids and filter impurities in fuel.

Siphoning by drivers is chronic, affecting transporters and construction companies and at the KPA for instance, nearly 40 per cent of fuel is lost with this technology expected to address this problem.

Raise alarm

Mr Ong’wen said in cases of attempted fraudulent transactions such as unauthorised fuel removal or retention, the automated system raises alarm.

He spoke when he represented managing director Catherine Mturi-Wairi with the new equipment at the KPA container terminal on Thursday last week.

He said before the bowsers with a capacity of 8,000 litres each were commissioned, engineers from the manufacturers and contracted suppliers conducted training for the Authority's technicians, drivers and staff of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK), who are the contracted fuel suppliers.

The bowsers were manufactured by UK-based firm Mectronic Limited, while Jupiter Electrical & Gen Ltd supplied the equipment and will facilitate supply of spare parts.

Jupiter Electrical general manager, fuels and energy department Joe Kigara said the new technology would solve problems associated with siphoning of fuel not only in parastatals but also in large private companies.

“Large institutions face huge challenges when it comes to control and management of their fuel reserves. The solution is to digitise transactions to enhance accountability which will reduce their fuel bill,” he said.

Also present during the commissioning were KPA fuel and oil management committee members Lung’anzi Mangale, Erastus Kadu, Said Mata, Aza Dzengo, Anderson Mtalaki and Robert Oganga, Jupiter Electrical fuel management project Manager.