September 1, 2023 [The East African]- Kenya has completed the transaction for revamping the defunct state-owned Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd (KPRL), paving the way for a gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa.
Davis Chirchir, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum, said a consultant has completed a feasibility study that leads to the signing of a transnational agreement of the project.
“The defunct KPRL will now be under KPC (Kenya Pipeline Company) and the Mombasa-Dar es Salaam pipeline project, is key to feed into the facility to ensure maximum use,” said Mr Chirchir.
“We hope once the 30,000 metric-tonne gas facility which is under construction in Changamwe is complete, the project will move to the next stage.”
In December 2021, Kenya contracted a US firm, K&M Advisors, to conduct a feasibility study for gas power generation in Mombasa County, which will be fed by liquefied natural gas from Tanzania.
The agreement between Kenya and Tanzania could have been avoided if the study found natural gas importation for electricity generation was more expensive than local sources.
Tanzania’s Tanga gas plant already served nearly half of the Kenyan market. But it is trucked via Namanga and Holili border posts.
In May 2021, during her state visit to Kenya, Tanzania President Samia Hassan and her then Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta signed off on a preliminary agreement covering transportation of gas from Tanzania for use in power generation, cooking and heating.
In October last year, President Samia and President William Ruto agreed to speed up construction of a natural gas pipeline designed to increase trade and lower energy costs for both countries. The estimated cost of the 600-km pipeline is $1.1 billion.
Mr Chirchir on Wednesday, said Kenya is repairing KPRL storage tanks in Mombasa which would be used to store different petroleum products. The refinery has 45 tanks with a total storage capacity of 484 million litres which the Kenya Pipeline will also use to store its imported fuel for redistribution in the region.
And he said Kenya will not import crude oil for refinery. The refinery was a loss-making entity that had remained dormant for nearly a decade.
Nairobi later authorised the KPC to take over and utilise its facilities for refined oil storage.
K&M Advisors were engaged by the Kenyan government to conduct a feasibility study for natural gas power generation in Kenya to determine viability of the project. It was to examine the technical, economic, financial and environmental and social feasibility of project, as well as whether there was sufficient domestic natural gas market for power generation and industrial use, compared to other local power sources.
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