Kenya to Boost Imports of Refined Gasoline, Ministry Says

Kenya, East Africa’s biggest economy, will boost imports of refined gasoline due to lower output from its refinery, Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike said.

The nation’s only refinery has been affected by frequent breakdowns and unreliable power supply, Nyoike told reporters today in the capital, Nairobi.

“The government has decided, as a policy, that Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd. be converted from a processing to a merchant refinery,” he said.

KPRL, as the refinery is known, has been supplying between 25 and 30 percent of demand for gasoline compared with a target of 40 percent, Nyoike said. A shut-down on April 27 due to a power outage led to a fuel shortage in Nairobi last week, Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi said May 5. A delay in delivery of a shipment of 29 million liters of gasoline that was due on April 21 and an under-delivery of 7 million liters of gasoline in March also affected supplies, Murungi said.

Kenya will import 40 million liters of refined gasoline in two shipments, Nyoike said. The first is expected on about May 22 while the second will arrive in June, he said.

The refinery will also be allowed to import its own crude for processing rather than buying from oil marketing companies, helping it reduce costs, Nyoike said.