Mombasa Port and Refinery

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The Kenyan port of Mombasa is one of the biggest in East Africa. Managed by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), it is made up of the Old Port, Port Reitz and Kilindini Harbour.[1] The port is vital to the Kenyan economy, and also serves international trade to and from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.[2] Mombasa has two oil terminals and is also home to one of the largest oil refineries in the region. An oil consortium in Uganda comprising Total, Tullow Oil and CNOOC identified the terminals at Mombasa and Lamu, and the port of Dar es Salaam as instrumental to international exports.[3] The Kipevu oil terminal is big enough for tankers up to 100 000 tonnes while the Shimanzi oil terminal can take tankers up to 30 000 tonnes.[4]

Mombasa is already one of the most congested ports in the world, and with the recent oil discoveries in Kenya and neighbouring countries, there is a need for an expansion of infrastructure.[5]The pipelines connecting Mombasa with Kenya's interior have become outdated and overstretched, and require maintenance. The Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) is planning to replace the Mombasa to Nairobi pipeline as part of a project to maintain Kenya's position as a key oil hub.[6] However, Mombasa's position may soon be rivalled by the development of the port of Lamu, near Kenya's border with Somalia. In March 2012 a major project was launched to expand the port of Lamu, to making it three times the size of the port of Mombasa.[7] A further plan is to build roads and railways linking Lamu with South Sudan and Ethiopia, enabling the export of the oil found in these two land-locked countries.[8] The project is estimated to cost $23 billion, and is due to be completed by 2030.[9]

Mombasa's oil refinery, operated by Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited (KPRL) in a joint venture with the Indian company Essar Energy,[10] has a capacity of 90 000 barrels per day (bbl/d).[11] Oil is mainly imported from the Middle East. However, the refinery generally operates below full capacity, and therefore Kenya also imports refined oil.[12] Currently, the refinery produces liquid petroleum gas (LPG), petrol, diesel, kerosene and fuel oil,[13] more than 50 percent of which is piped to Nairobi.[14] However, there are doubts surrounding the future of the Mombasa refinery.[15] In May 2013 KPRL warned that financial issues may prevent the refinery from operating, despite plans by Essar Energy to invest $1 billion in the refinery.[16] In October 2013 Essar Energy announced that its intention to pull out of its joint venture with KPRL, thereby further endangering the survival of the Mombasa refinery.[17]

References

  1. "Emerging East Africa Energy" U.S. Energy Information Administration, 23 May 2013.
  2. "Emerging East Africa Energy" U.S. Energy Information Administration, 23 May 2013.
  3. "Emerging East Africa Energy" U.S. Energy Information Administration, 23 May 2013.
  4. "Emerging East Africa Energy" U.S. Energy Information Administration, 23 May 2013.
  5. "Pipeline Poker" The Economist, 25 May 2013.
  6. "Emerging East Africa Energy" U.S. Energy Information Administration, 23 May 2013.
  7. "Lamu Port and New Transport Corridor Development to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia" Kenya Vision 2030, retrieved 18 October 2013.
  8. "Lamu Port and New Transport Corridor Development to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia" Kenya Vision 2030, retrieved 18 October 2013.
  9. "Kenya poised to roll out ambitious Sh2 trillion transport corridor project" Daily Nation, 22 July 2013.
  10. "Essar Energy offers to sell shares in Mombasa refinery to Kenya at Sh430m" Standard Digital News, 3 October 2013.
  11. "Overview data for Kenya" U.S. Energy Information Administration, 30 May 2013.
  12. "Overview data for Kenya" U.S. Energy Information Administration, retrieved 17 October 2013.
  13. "Essar's Kenya refinery upgrade plan faces closure threat" U.S. Energy Information Administration, 19 May 2013.
  14. "Emerging East Africa Energy" U.S. Energy Information Administration, 23 May 2013.
  15. "Essar's Kenya refinery upgrade plan faces closure threat" U.S. Energy Information Administration, 19 May 2013.
  16. "Essar's Kenya refinery upgrade plan faces closure threat" U.S. Energy Information Administration, 19 May 2013.
  17. "Essar Energy offers to sell shares in Mombasa refinery to Kenya at Sh430m" Standard Digital News, 3 October 2013.