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A tanker carrying 12,300 metric tonnes of petrol imported by Gulf Energy on emergency basis will dock at the Port of Mombasa on Tuesday.
A tanker carrying 12,300 metric tonnes of petrol imported by Gulf Energy on emergency basis will dock at the Port of Mombasa on Tuesday.

It takes four to five days for the fuel brought in to alleviate supply constraints to reach Nairobi.

The oil firm’s chief executive officer Francis Njogu said supply problems will ease following arrival of the stock.

“The vessel is expected to berth and discharging of the super brand of petrol to Kipevu Oil Storage Facility will begin after all the mandatory logistics are finalised,” he said on Monday.

Vital components

Mr Njogu said the Ministry of Energy on August 24, awarded Gulf the tender to import on behalf of other marketers petrol through the Kipevu Oil Terminal after it submitted the lowest bid.

Gulf bid $13.93 as freight and premium per metric tonne of petrol while KenolKobil tendered for $47.68.

Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd has for over a month experienced electricity supply interruption which has affected platformers that are vital components in the petrol production process.

The Mombasa based refinery produces 50 per cent of oil products used in Kenya and the balance is met through imports. Supply of petrol is expected to further improve after another oil firm, Gapco’s 17,416 metric tonnes of fuel arrives.

A spot check done by the Nation on Monday revealed that the cost of petrol had risen to between Sh77 and Sh78 per litre while the price of diesel had gone up from Sh64 to Sh66 for the same quantity even as retailers struggled to buy fuel for their outlets.

There were long queues of tankers outside depots of oil firms in Nairobi’s Industrial Area waiting for fuel with petrol stations that did not have fuel in stock turning away motorists.

The risk of failing

Mr Peter Maina, a retailer, said he opted to ferry petrol and diesel from the Nakuru depot of the Kenya Pipeline Company instead of taking the risk of failing to procure fuel from petroleum storage facilities in Nairobi.

“I decided to transport by road petrol and diesel from Nakuru Town. I just add the mark up of the cost incurred to the final prices although the stocks are moving fast because customers want fuel due to the prevailing shortage,” he said on Monday.

Kenya Independent Petroleum Dealers Association said retailers who are unable to get petrol from depots are opting to pay a premium to re-sellers to obtain the product instead of closing down their businesses.

Association chair Keith Ngaruchi said retail outlets were incurring losses because they were getting inadequate supplies from oil marketers depots, adding, diesel availability has also been erratic.