News 2008


Kenyan postelection violence delays completion of $110m Kenya–Uganda oil pipeline

By: John Njiraini

Published: 15 Feb 08

Completion of the $110-million Kenya–Uganda oil pipeline project, initially scheduled for the third quarter of this year, is now expected in 2009, because of violent clashes in Kenya, following the controversial re-election of President Mwai Kibaki.

The clashes, mostly in western Kenya, have prompted the contractor to refrain from deploying workers.

“We cannot send our experts and contractors to [construction sites] because some of them might be targeted because of their ethnicity,” says Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) MD George Okungu.

Installation of the 320-km oil pipeline, from Eldoret, in Kenya, to Kampala, in Uganda, is already behind schedule, and could now be delayed by up to a year.

The pipeline will be capable of transporting 220 000 t/h.

“The project will, no doubt , be delayed as its commencement is dependent on the political stability of the country,” Okungu adds.

Tamoil East Africa, of Libya, a subsidiary of Oilinvest, of the Neth-erlands, is undertaking the $110-million project.

The pipeline is supposed to ease the transportation of oil products to landlocked countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Currently, these countries rely on road transport, which has also been paralysed. Trucks transporting oil products to Uganda have been grounded in various depots in Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza provinces, causing fuel shortages in Uganda.

Okungu says KPC has lost more than $1,4-million in revenue owing to the crisis.

“We are finding it hard to meet our obligation to supply oil to clients in the neighbouring countries,” he says.