In Summary
  • Kenya's decision to revamp the metre gauge railway line to Uganda, which may tilt marketers’ preference over Lake Victoria.

Taxpayers may have to wait longer for Kisumu oil jetty to start operations and make the desired returns on the Sh1.9 billion the government sank in more than a year ago.

Extended delays appear imminent even after Uganda announced it would complete its side of the jetty in two months.

Officials attribute the delay to compliance requirements.

Kenya has also thrown the plan into a spin with the decision to revamp the metre gauge railway line to Uganda, which may tilt marketers’ preference over Lake Victoria.

Kenya Pipeline Company acting managing director Hudson Andambi told the Sunday Nation that while the Ugandan jetty could be ready by July, compliance processes and the availability of vessels to transport the oil may take longer.

“We need 4.2 million-litre barges (flat-bottomed ships) to ferry the products. Such a ship cannot be built in two months. We should also get compliance licences and the environmental impact assessments must be done before operations begin,” Mr Andambi said.

“The contractor for the Ugandan jetty is expected to provide the barges and I cannot speak for the firm”.

Uganda Minister for Works and Transport Monica Azuba said on Wednesday that the Entebbe jetty would be ready by July.

The jetty was built through a public-private partnership arrangement.

The Kenyan one, which was built by KPC, has been controversial from the start.

Several KPC managers have stepped aside after questions were raised about the cost of the project.

The KPC board has questioned the extra Sh500 million the National Treasury approved for the jetty, insisting that it should have cost Sh1.4 billion.

Uganda has been quiet on the 2013 ground-breaking ceremony of the project.

Oil transit

KPC board briefings tell of visits to Kampala last year with minimal hopes that oil transit across the lake would start soon.

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