July 11, 2018 / 12:22 PM / 8 months ago

Kenya says Nairobi-Mombasa refined products pipeline ready for use

Tanker trucks that used to haul oil products, carry crude oil during a pilot scheme to export crude oil, as they arrive at the Kenya Pipeline Company in the port city of Mombasa, Kenya June 7, 2018. REUTERS/Joseph Okanga

NAIROBI (Reuters) - A refined products pipeline linking Kenya’s capital Nairobi with the port city of Mombasa is complete and ready for use, state-run Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) said on Wednesday.

The 450 km pipeline will eliminate an estimated 700 oil tanker trucks per day that transport fuel by road between Mombasa and Nairobi, KPC said in a statement.

It “will also enhance and improve the reliability of fuel supply to the export markets of Uganda, Rwanda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo,” said managing director Joe Sang.

Construction began in July 2014 on the pipeline which replaces one built in 1973 by Lebanon’s Zakhem International that had outlived its 30-year lifespan and was prone to ruptures.

The pipeline would have a throughput of 1 million litres per hour once commissioned, said John Munyes, minister for Petroleum and Mining, during a ceremony to receive the first batch of refined products in Nairobi.

The company said at present it pumps 80 percent of all imported oil products in Kenya, with the remaining 20 percent being transported by road. These typically include petrol, diesel, kerosene and jet fuel.

KPC said it had also completed construction of four new storage tanks in Nairobi to increase capacity by 133 million litres from 612.3 million litres countrywide at present.

Reporting by George Obulutsa and Carlos Mureithi; editing by Omar Mohammed and Jason Neely

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