Kenya to Build More Water Vessels to Boost Oil Product Exports.

  • The passage via the lake would help reduce road overcrowding and improve the reliability of supply. 

Kenya plans to construct three additional ships to boost the export of oil products to Uganda through Lake Victoria and according to the Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary, Davis Chirchir, this would ensure 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 making shipments daily,” said the cabinet secretary.



Despite launching in early January, Kenya has only dispatched 20 million liters of petroleum products. The $14.57 million project that was completed in February 2018 is being underutilized, however, Chirchir noted that the government is on track to regain its market share of East Africa’s oil exports. The oil jetty construction was completed in February 2018 but only became operational in January 2023; this resulted from a prolonged delay to complete the construction of a matching facility in Uganda. The delay was halted when the first consignment of petroleum products arrived at the Mahathi jetty via the MV Kabaka Mutebi II, ending the five-year wait.


Other than being cost-effective, the cabinet secretary noted that the hauling via the lake would help reduce road overcrowding and improve the reliability of supply.  According to the minister, one ship across the lake with the capacity to carry 4.5 million liters of oil products is equivalent to 135 trucks. Transportation of petroleum via lake has minimized road carnage, adulteration, and dumping of petroleum products”, Mohamed Liban, the Perm. Sec. for Energy and Petroleum said. 


During a visit to the 95-meter-long oil-loading jetty owned by the Kenyan Pipeline Company in Kisumu, Chirchir stated that there is still a need to work on infrastructure improvement in the petroleum export sector to maximize the gains. He said we are obligated to serve the landlocked countries and it is our obligation to utilize this state-of-the-art facility which should have come up much earlier”, he noted. He was accompanied by Liban and Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) Managing Director Joe Sang. additionally, he noted that apart from having fewer ships, the trucks accessing Uganda move through narrow roads hindering quick transportation.


Hence the Kenyan government is embarking on building three more ships with which fuel is transported to the Mahathi terminal in Entebbe where the product is loaded onto trucks to Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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