The port of Mombasa has doubled its capacity to handle oil and petroleum products following the completion of the new Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT).
According to Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) officials, the Sh40 billion offshore oil facility can handle 14.6 million tonnes of oil products against the current demand of 8.3 million.
This represents 57 per cent of marine terminal utilisation, said KPA acting Managing Director John Mwangemi.
Mr Mwangemi described KOT II, which has three berths, as a game changer in the handling of petroleum and oil products in the region. “The construction of the terminal, which is now complete and operational, has enhanced the port’s capacity to discharge oil products in a timely and efficient manner, significantly easing the pressure aggravated by increased demand in the region,” he said.
President William Ruto last week toured the facility to appraise himself with the key operations, where he was taken around by Mwangemi, KPA Chairman Joseph Kibwana and General Manager for Marine Operations Godfrey Namadoa.
“The offshore facility can discharge and back-load three larger petroleum tankers of up to 120,000 deadweight tonnes simultaneously to facilitate the importation and exportation of six different hydrocarbon products,” KPA added.
The products are automotive gasoline oil, premium motor spirit, heavy fuel oil, dual-purpose kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas, and crude oil.
KPA said the oil industry is a key driver and main artery to the business and economic growth of Kenya and the region.
“The full operationalisation of the new KOT II will streamline marine oil terminal operations to create synergy, and enhance safety and operational excellence.
“This will also enhance the provision of quality services that meet world-class standards and provide an avenue to optimise resources to reduce petroleum tanker delays, improve turnaround time and eliminate demurrage.”
The annual throughput (2020-21) of petroleum products is 8.68 million tonnes.
The designed capacity of the new KOT II is 12 million tonnes.
Namadoa said upon operationalisation of the new KOT II, marine operations including pilotage services are being provided round the clock.
“Implementation of 24-hours’ marine operation of the new KOT II shall improve molecule fluidity in the midstream supply chain and ensure price stability of petroleum products in Kenya and the rest of the region,” he said.
The offshore island terminal consists of four berths with a length of 770 metres and one workboat wharf for landing facilities.
It replaces the old Kipevu Oil Terminal, situated on the mainland Port Reitz.
“The new terminal is equipped with a berthing aid system to assist pilots to safely berth ships and quick release mooring system for safe and efficient mooring operations,” Namadoa said