Pain at the pump sticks in Kenya

May 14, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Fuel pump prices were to go up by Sh4.20 to retail at Sh115.35 per litre in Nairobi on Sunday after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) adjusted the maximum prices in line with price control regulations.

The maximum pump price for diesel has now been capped at Sh108.02 until June 14 after an increase of Sh2.20.

Motorists in Mombasa will buy super petrol at Sh112.09, which is the lowest amount while those residing in Mandera will pay the highest rate at Sh127.87.

Kerosene retail prices have also gone up by Sh4 to retail at Sh92.61 compared to what was being charged in the last one month.

ERC Director General Kaburu Mwirichia said that they had taken measures to cushion Kerosene and Diesel consumers.

"These adjustments have reduced the maximum pump prices of Kerosene by Sh4.17 a litre and of Diesel by Sh2.07 per litre," He said.

Mr Mwirichia said that he expects the prices to reduce during next months review due to a reduction in international crude prices.

"We have noted that since the beginning of May 2011 the international prices of both crude oil and refined petroleum products have started a downward trend. Any decrease in the procurement costs realized during the month of May will be passed on to consumers in the next price review," he said.

Oil marketer, Kenolkobil on Monday warned motorists to brace themselves for tough times as petrol prices were likely to go up by nearly Sh6 per litre given the continued unrest in the Middle East and parts of North Africa.

Energy Permanent Secretary Partick Nyoike chastised the firm\’s action saying they had no authority to pre-empt what the Energy Regulatory Commission would announce come May 14.

"When we met (on Monday with the other oil marketers), we agreed that the discussion would not go beyond the four walls. I have seen what they said and maybe their figures are based on their rocket science calculations. There is no ownership by anybody," the PS charged.

But the dealer was quick to turn the heat on the ministry accusing it of burying its head in the sand in the face of the problems in the entire supply chain and which is partly responsible for the high prices in the pump prices.

"KenolKobil has noted with concern over the last two weeks attempts by the Ministry of Energy in their briefing to the media to blame an alleged under delivery of 7,000 Metric Tonnes of PMS as being the cause of the recent shortage of PMS in the market," Mr Ohana said.

"We reserve our right of reply without prejudice and wish to set the record straight to all our shareholders and customers," the defiant GM stated.

He also called on the government to address the lack of adequate national storage facilities in a bid to ensure the future sufficient supply of petroleum products in the market.

Last week the city experienced fuel shortage with most filling stations running out of petrol forcing motorists to queue for hours for the available little.

The situation however normalized last Friday after about 7.3 million litres of petrol were transferred to oil firm depots in Nairobi between Tuesday and Thursday.



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