Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir said that shutting down the facility would be the last option adding that instead, plans are underway to revamp the refinery and make it more efficient.
Speaking to journalists after a fact-finding tour at the facility, Chirchir said a joint committee comprising officials from the ministries of Finance and Energy has been set up to advice the government on the upgrading process.
He has directed the company management to submit their proposals in the areas that should be prioritized in the upgrading to make it competitive and viable.
“All stakeholders’ proposals would be considered including those from the oil marketers in efforts to reduce the cost of processing the products,” Chirchir said.
Oil marketers have threatened to stop buying products from KPRL come July 1 and want to be allowed to directly import their own refined products in an effort to push the government improve efficiency at the plant.
Since the refinery was converted into a merchant model, marketers are required to uplift 40 percent of the products of their refined products from KPRL.
The parliamentary committee on energy toured the facility and warned the government against bending to the marketers’ pressure saying that the closure would have far reaching financial implications.
The committee’s chairman, Jamleck Kamau, said that they would institute investigation into alleged cartels in the oil industry that might risk the closure of the facility.
Kenya Petroleum Refinery Limited KPRL Chief Executive Brij Bansal has instead attributed the plant’s failure to oil marketers’ refusing to buy refined petroleum products from the facility.