Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) receives refined petroleum products for transportation either from Kenya Petroleum Refinery Limited (KPRL) at Changamwe or direct importation through Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT) into the Kipevu Oil Storage Facility (KOSF). KPC does not own the products but receives stores and transports refined petroleum on behalf of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
To ensure that import conforms to National Standards, Kenya Bureau of Standard (KEBS) has gazette specifications for all petroleum products used in Kenya. KPC does not accept product that does not conform to the specification.
KPC has a Transportation and Storage Agreement (TSA) with OMC’s to receive super petroleum at end boiling point of 205oC to enable operational handling and transportation in order to be within the national specification of 210 oC at the point of delivery. In instances where the quality parameters do not meet the KPC’s operational requirements, but meets the national requirements, the TSA allows the importer to seek a waiver from the Oil Industry.
All imports through KOT must have a pre-shipment inspection quality certificate from the port of loading. This document indicates the quality parameters of the shipment.
Prior to discharge from a ship at KOT, representative product samples are taken by the registered quality Surveyor/Agent appointed by the importer who superintends on the imports. The Surveyor/Agent carries out tests and issues a pre-discharge test report to allow for discharge into KPC facility.
Once the product has been received into the KPC system, it is pumped in a sequence of one product grade after another. Since a single pipeline is used to transport different grades, where two grades meet some mixing takes place at the interface (zone of mixing which develops between two adjacent and differing grades of petroleum as they pass through the pipeline). The interface is monitored and received at the receiving depot into tanks called slop tanks. The receiving is done based on the intermixing composition.
The mixed product is then analyzed by KPC Quality Control Section, to determine its composition and dosing (re-injection) rate. The mixed product is re-injected into the incoming product batches while maintaining the quality specifications. The transportation and storage agreement allows for the OMC’s to remove excess interface that cannot be absorbed in the incoming product to facilitate continual pipeline operation.
KPC would wish to clarify an erroneous report in sections of the media as follows;
- No product processing takes place at the Kipevu Oil Storage Facility as reported.
- Super petrol is received by KPC from two entry points that are KOSF and KPRL and it is therefore erroneous to state that KPRL does not process super petrol.
- Pre-inspection is done to confirm that the quality parameters conform to the test results of the importers load port certificate of quality issued by the importer. These two inspections are carried out to verify conformance to the National Specifications and the pipeline operating specs
- The alleged figure of 600,000 tonnes of super petrol to be collected by GAPCO as reported is not correct as KPC does not even have the capacity to store such a large quantity. The actual slop quantity to be removed by GAPCO was 1,023,000 liters and the outstanding balance as n 23rd May, 2012 was 634,000 liters and the process is ongoing.
- The consignment of super petrol imported by GAPCO amounting to 76,213,089 liters did not get contaminated and meets the national specification for the market. What is being transported from KPC is excess slops resulting from normal operations of a multiproduct pipeline that could not be absorbed by the incoming GAPCO products as expected.
- On sabotage or otherwise, we are unequivocal that there was and there is no element of sabotage either at KPC or the Ministry of Energy as alleged.
- The consignment was tested by Intertek Testing Services and not SGS as stated.
- The product tested at 207oc, a deviation of 2 degrees from the pipeline requirements was noted and a waiver was issued by the oil industry as the product was within the national speciation.
- As far as KPC is concerned the product has not found its way into the market as it is being cleared by GAPCO under the supervision of KRA.
- The movement of slop product by GAPCO is not a pointer to corruption within KPC and MOE as alleged as the GAPCO consignment did not meet speciation to absorb slops at the receiving depot.
- Further no adulterated product is in KPC system as intermix is a result of normal pipeline operation.
- GAPCO will bear the cost of the material being moved and KPC expects no disruption of pipeline activities as the intermix is supposed to be disposed of by GAPCO who have already been invoiced up to the destination as per the tariff.
- KPC does not expect any product shortage as the pipeline system is operating normally and there are adequate stocks.
- The KPC system is audited by external regulatory and statutory bodies for compliance and KPC is open for further audit.
The 76,213,089 liters of super petrol supplied by GAPCO meets the national specification and is being issued to the market through the usual issuance of certificate of quality and motorists should not be worried as KPC can vouch for the quality product that it has issued to OMC’s.