Dec 27, 2008
General
caxias
Banks and oil firms owed money by Triton Petroleum Company Ltd, which has been put under receivership, are petitioning the government to help them recover their money.
Banks and oil firms owed money by Triton Petroleum Company Ltd, which has been put under receivership, are petitioning the government to help them recover their money.

Engen Kenya Ltd and Kenya Commercial Bank are among firms owed money by Triton, which was put in receivership on December 19, 2008 under debentures the company had granted to secured lenders.

On the same day, Engen wrote to the Ministry of Energy seeking assistance to recover money paid to Triton for a consignment of diesel that was not delivered.

On November 27 this year Engen allegedly paid for 567.364 cubic metres of diesel but Triton Petroleum failed deliver the fuel. The transaction cost Engen over Sh23 million.

Caleb Ayiku of Engen said they wrote to the Energy permanent secretary after attempts to get the diesel consignment from Triton had failed.

“They have put Engen under unreasonable duress, made us forgo sales and lose valuable time in pursuit of the stock without result. We have patiently waited for official communication from them for the last three weeks,” Mr Ayiku said in the letter copied to oil marketing companies.

Triton won the tender to import diesel on behalf of other marketers in October under the open tender system (OTS) for importation of crude oil and refined fuel supervised by the Ministry of Energy.

Triton was required to import 80,000 metric tonnes of oil but brought in 56,000MT of which they kept 26,000MT for their own operations, leaving the balance to be shared by other marketers.

OTS rules

Industry sources said it was difficult for the ministry to assist Engen recover money from Triton, as theirs is a commercial dispute, which is not covered by the OTS rules.

Abdul Zahir Sheikh and Peter Kahi, who were appointed the Joint Receivers and Managers of Triton Petroleum, have powers over all the assets and undertakings of the company.

Industry players attribute the shortage of fuel partly to Triton’s holding of a lot of stocks of fuel at Kipevu Oil Storage Facility in Mombasa, making it hard for other firm to use the depot.

Questions have arisen on how the firm got so much storage space at KOSF, which is managed by Kenya Pipeline Company.

Oil firms have in the past lost a lot of money for paying penalties (demurrage) when tankers cannot discharge oil on time due to lack of storage space as some players kept fuel at KOSF for speculative purposes.

Demurrage charges are $30,000-36,000 per day. The fuel kept at KOSF is supposed to be removed before one month lapses.

Triton Energy (K) Ltd, a sister firm to Triton Petroleum, was also put under receivership on December 22, 2008.

Kereto Marima and Ian Small were appointed Joint Receivers of petroleum products of Triton Energy pursuant to a debenture dated July 8, 2008 the firm had granted Fortis Bank of Netherlands.

Marima and Small said their attention had been drawn to various parties purporting to sell 12,000 MT of diesel belonging to Triton Energy held on various terminals and depots in Kenya.

“The company through the Receivers, will seek legal remedies against any party who fails to heed this notification, including requiring to account fully for consignment or the proceeds thereof,” they said.
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