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KPC invites bid for design of new pipeline

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – The Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has invited bids for the design and construction of a new pipeline from Mombasa to Nairobi which will replace the existing 449.1 kilometre-line.

KPC said on Monday that the new pipeline, which should have 10 pump stations, should be able to meet the projected demand over the next three decades.

The company is demanding that the new consultant should carry out a technical and financial evaluation to determine the pipe size while taking into account the demand requirements.

“The consultant shall consider the following minimum requirements among others during the design stage: hydraulic design of the pipeline profile taking into consideration the operational philosophy and minimum/maximum allowable system pressures to meet the projected demand in year 2044,” the company said in an advertisement in the local dailies.

Further, the designer will be required to upgrade the existing fire fighting system to ensure that remote controls are installed for efficient and safe operations.

The government has indicated that it will float a tender to build the fuel pipeline estimated to cost Sh28.2 billion in December 2011.

However, the successful consultant will be required to provide preliminary cost estimates for the project based on the design of the line and the current market rates.

The need to replace the 14-inch pipeline was brought into sharp focus after the Sinai fire which claimed over 100 lives in September and which was blamed on a ruptured gasket that increased pressure on the line.

The government has in the past admitted that the ageing oil line can only operate optimally by 2017, heightening the urgency for the country to start the construction of a new one soon.

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The line, which has the installed capacity of 880,000M ³ per hour but whose flow rate averages 440,000M³ per hour, was upgraded in 2008 to cater for demand of the period 2009 to 2017.

Expected to significantly reduce the number of petroleum tankers ferrying products from Mombasa by road, the pipeline has failed to live to its billings, a situation that has not helped to relieve pressure off Kipevu Oil Storage facility.

Kenya Pipeline Company Managing Director Selest Kilinda has in the past acknowledged that the current pipeline has lived beyond its 30- year life span and thus the need for a newer and bigger one that can also meet the country’s and region’s petroleum demand.

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