Kenya Pipeline denies fuel crisis as more towns experience shortages

Petrol stations were forced to limit customers to only Sh2,000 worth of fuel

File image of boda boda operators queueing for fuel at a petrol station

Major fuel shortages are being experienced by several towns in Kenya.

Western Region is reportedly the hardest hit with motorists confirming having driven across the border, to Uganda, to get fuel.

In Nairobi, fuel stations have imposed a ration for motorists, with customers being turned away after getting Sh2,000 worth of fuel.

Online, more and more motorists reported having suffered long queues at petrol stations as well as missing out on fuel altogether.

An April 2, 2022 statement from the Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) conveyed: "KPC's current stock position in all their facilities as at today noon indicates that there are over 69 million litres of super petrol, more than 94 million litres of diesel, more than 13 million litres of kerosene and over 23 million litres of jet fuel available."

KPC MD Dr Macharia Irungu added: "KPC would like to confirm that there are ample stocks of petroleum products in our system throughout the country to meet demand. Our global stock holding is adequate to serve the region, with more ships in Mombasa queued for discharge."

The fuel crisis has been attributed to deliberate hoarding by the major oil marketing companies who import fuel into the country after the Treasury failed to pay for fuel subsidies for four months in a row.

The country’s energy regulator, however, has attributed the shortage to logistical challenges and says it is engaging oil marketing firms to resolve the crisis.

In its February fuel price review, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) saved motorists from paying about Sh20 more on a litre of petrol due to the state subsidy that has kept pump prices unchanged for the fourth month in a row.

The subsidy has cushioned consumers as they would have paid Sh133.89 for a litre of diesel, Sh144.25 for a litre of petrol and Sh119.42 for kerosene.

According to data from the regulator, Kenya consumes 380 million litres of petrol and diesel every month. But with the biting low shortage, queues are expected to get longer.

Franchised outlets are at luck as they are given a top priority by independent dealers who purchase stocks through the big oil marketers. The independent dealers often supply to rural areas where big oil companies don’t have a network of dealers.

Oil industry players also claim that the Ministry in charge of petroleum is indebted to the tune of Sh32 billion. The government has acknowledged Sh13 billion, pending verification.

The chairman Kenya Independent Petroleum Distributors Association (Kipeda), Joseph Karanja said that if the situation is not addressed, it could get worse in the coming days and weeks.

“The whole of this week, there have been no supplies. The limited amount of fuel that may have been there is now drying up… OMCs [oil marketing companies] have supplied to their branded outlets but they do not have enough.

“We have tried talking to the suppliers (major OMCs) and they are pointing at the fuel stabilisation programme. The government has not been paying and this has denied them capital to import products. The little funds that they have are used on importing for their branded outlets” said Karanja.

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