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3 more ships to be built to improve export of oil products from Kenya to Uganda

Kenya plans to build three more ships to improve the export of oil products to Uganda through Lake Victoria. Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir said this would guarantee daily trips from the current weekly voyages to the landlocked country.

“We have embarked on building three more ships so that the jetty can be doing shipments daily,” said the cabinet secretary.

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Kenya has only dispatched 20 million litres of petroleum products despite being launched in early January. The$14.57 million project that was accomplished in February 2018 is being underutilized. Additionally, the government is on trail to re-claim its market share of East Africa’s oil exports.

The oil jetty construction finalized in February 2018 but only operationalized in January 2023.This resulted from prolonged delay to complete the construction of a matching facility in Uganda. The first consignment of petroleum products arrived at the Mahathi jetty via the MV Kabaka Mutebi II ending the five-year wait.

Also Read: Construction of US $3.5m cruise ship terminal in Kenya complete.

Significance of shipping transportation in petroleum trade

Other than being cost-effective, Chirchir said shipping through the lake would reduce road overcrowding and improve the reliability of supply. A ship across the lake with the capacity of 4.5 million litres of oil products is equivalent to 135 trucks. Transportation of petroleum products via lake has reduced road carnage, adulteration and dumping of petroleum products.

The government embarked on building three more ships so that the jetty can be doing shipments daily. The fuel is transported to the Mahathi terminal in Entebbe. Thereby, the product is loaded onto trucks to Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There is still a necessity to work on infrastructure enhancement in the petroleum export sector to maximize the gains. Additionally, apart from having fewer ships, the trucks accessing Uganda move through narrow roads obstructing quick transportation.

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