Xmas eve of fuel shortage

December 24, 2008

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 24 – A fuel crunch continued to bite across the country on Wednesday as the government maintained it had pumped enough fuel to the fuel stations.

In a statement faxed to newsrooms Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike said that 1.8 million litres of super petrol and 2.9 million litres of diesel were released by the Kenya Pipeline Company on Tuesday night.

“The fuel was released between 4pm yesterday (Tuesday) and 6am today (Wednesday),” said Nyoike.

However a spot check by Capital News in the City streets and its environs revealed long queues of motorists as most stations were yet to receive the product

Munir Hassan Ali, the Manager at Caltex Petrol Station along Waiyaki Way said they were still waiting for the commodity.

“We are told that some stations have received it but we are still waiting for our delivery. Some say there is delay at the depot but we don’t know what exactly the problem is,” he said

Motorists were forced to travel long journeys in search of the precious commodity.

“I have come all the way from Buru Buru and there is no fuel anywhere. I will now buy it in a can and stock it in my car,” one of the motorists remarked.

Mr Nyoike told reporters on Tuesday that the recent shortage had been occasioned by logistic hitches which were being addressed, and were expected to normalise within a day or two.

“Between today (Tuesday) and 27th, we expect to receive through imports 53,200,000 litres of diesel, 33,560,000 litres of Super Petrol and 35 million litres of Jet Kerosene. So in terms of product availability, we are very healthy,” Mr Nyoike said.

The PS had warned Kenyans against panic buying saying this would worsen the situation but motorists went on to fill their tanks and carry stock worsenignn the already bad situation.

There are fears that the shortage suspected to be stage managed could result into price adjustments but Mr Nyoike has appealed to oil marketers not to adjust the prices.

The PS also said there was more shipment of fuel expected to dock at the port to ease the increased consumption. 

Kenya Pipeline Managing Director George Okungu last Friday blamed the shortage on recurrent power outages along its network, but assured on Tuesday that the company had purchased chips destroyed by the power interruptions

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