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KenolKobil says it has incurred a bill of over $3 million (Sh240 million) as penalties paid to owners of tankers for delays in off-loading imported fuel in Mombasa.
KenolKobil says it has incurred a bill of over $3 million (Sh240 million) as penalties paid to owners of tankers for delays in off-loading imported fuel in Mombasa.

The oil firm’s chairman and managing director Jacob Segman says two tankers ferrying petroleum products imported by the firm had delayed berthing in Mombasa leading to payment of penalties (demurrage charges).

He said in a letter sent to Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi that M/T Argosy and M/T Torm Kansas are awaiting authority from the ministry and Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) to off-load cargo at Kipevu Oil Terminal.

“Further delays in berthing these vessels exposes our group to imminent product stock-out and, needless to highlight, excessive demurrage our economy had to incur in excess of $3 million currently, which is only for these two vessels,” he said in the letter dated July 12, 2010.

The Ministry of Energy, however, retorted that M/T Argosy and M/T Torm Kansas were scheduled to berth last on Friday and Saturday respectively adding that fuel off-loading is subject to availability of ullage (storage space) at Kipevu Oil Storage Facility.

“Sturrock Shipping (Kenya) Ltd who are agents of the tankers issued a notice on Monday showing M/T Argosy is slated to berth on July 16 and M/T Torm Kansas on July 17,” said petroleum commissioner Martin Heya.

He said tankers may lose berthing priority if no adequate ullage has been allocated to accommodate respective receivers’ cargo or if documentation is not finalised and local charges paid before a vessel arrives.

But communications manager Charles Njogu said the company by Friday had not been advised when the two were expected to berth and discharge cargo.

Kenya Pipeline Company said it is not involved in issuing schedules of berthing tankers at the terminus.