, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14 – Oil marketers have urged the government to release oil stocks sitting at the Kenya Petroleum Refinery Limited (KPRL).
Vivo Energy Kenya Managing Director Polycarp Igathe says that the refinery is holding over 20 million litres of fuel for oil marketers.
Igathe says the marketers are getting impatient over when the stocks will be pumped out.
“They need to pump over the stocks at the refinery. We have already proposed to them the sharing formula… they are inhibiting investment,” he said.
Igathe has also asked the government facilitate investment in strategic storage of fuel pointing out that many investors who want to invest in storage facilities are finding it very difficult to be integrated into a common user facility.
He said that Kenya has a shortage of inland fuel storage hence the consumer is incurring a lot of costs on demurrage which is factored in the Energy Regulatory Commission pricing formula.
He also urged the government to work at reimbursing VAT faster to facilitate growth.
“We supply many non-vatable institutions and there is Sh30 billion still held by government and if the Central Government becomes more facilitative we shall continue to invest,” he said.
Igathe was speaking as he announced a Sh850 million investment by Vivo Energy to scale up its retail footprint and distribution facilities across the country.
The move which will see over 10 service stations opened by the end of the year includes reviving and upgrading dormant ones.
Speaking while officially opening a new station in Kyumbi, in Machakos County, Igathe attributed the company’s move to an expanding middle class and an increase of car-owners which is driving growth in demand for retail fuels and lubricant products in the market.
Vivo Energy Kenya distributes and markets Shell branded fuels and lubricants.
“This service station’s rollout is a testament of our renewed focus in increasing accessibility and availability of quality fuel and lubricants to cater to the needs of our expanding client base. We plan to increase the number of our stations from 116 to over 126 in the next two months,” said Igathe.
He added: “We remain committed to providing our customers with a wide range of Shell’s industry leading, technologically advanced fuels and lubricants. This retail expansion is in line with this goal.”
The company also announced its intentions to intensify investments in the country’s 47 counties as part of its bigger strategy to increase retail footprint by end of 2014.
Other stations that have been opened are Shell Kajiado, Shell Bungoma, Shell Wareng (Eldoret), Shell Gitimbine (Meru), Shell Banana, Shell Highview and Shell Kileleshwa.