President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday inspected the ongoing construction of the Shs 40 billion offshore Kipevu Oil Terminal, the largest of its kind in Africa.
The construction of the 770-metre long jetty, currently at 96% complete, is wholly funded by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and implemented by China Communications Construction Company.
When complete in April this year, the offshore facility will be able to load and offload very large sea tankers of up to 200,000 DWT carrying all categories of petroleum products including crude oil, white oils and LPG.
Speaking during the inspection, President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by visiting Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Wang Yi, said the new jetty will enhance supply and ensure price stability of petroleum products in Kenya and the region by replacing the 50-year old onshore Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT).
When operational, President Kenyatta noted that the new offshore jetty will save the country in excess of Shs 2 billion annually in demurrage costs incurred by oil shippers thereby contributing to a significant reduction in fuel pump prices.
“Once complete the new facility will be able to reduce not only the cost of fuel but also to ensure that Kenya is able to consistently have an adequate supply of fuel for our needs and development needs that of our people.
“This terminal once commissioned in a few weeks time will result in the saving of almost Shs 2 billion that we are currently paying every year because of demurrage occasioned by the long queues of vessels parked outside our harbour waiting to discharge their product,” he said.
The President hailed Kenya’s development partnership with China saying the arrangement had helped deliver key infrastructure projects, adding that the populous Asian nation was progressively opening up its expansive domestic market to Kenyan exports.
“Our partnership with China is not a partnership based on China telling us what to do. It is a partnership of friends, working together to meet Kenya’s socio-economic agenda.
“The old Kipevu Oil Terminal which for many years we have struggled with, was not able to meet the demands of increasing population, to meet the demands of the growing economy.
“We needed this facility to be able to cater for those demands and China was there when we asked for partnership in developing it,” the President said.