Kenya Pipeline Company to Keep Old, Leaking Pipeline

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Kenya Pipeline Company to Keep Old, Leaking Pipeline

Wed, 09/30/2020 - 10:33
African pipelines in the sunrise (copyright by Shutterstock/Kodda)
African pipelines in the sunrise (copyright by Shutterstock/Kodda)

Kenya's 50 year old Mombassa-Nairobi products pipeline, with a long history of leaks and disruptions, was scheduled to be refurbished this year by the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC). But after looking at all of the options KPC Managing Director Manchuria Irungu has decided that doing nothing was the best policy after all.

The company quietly froze a tendering process that would have seen a firm contracted to replace 15 kilometres of the leakage-prone line, which ruptured again last week, spilling an unknown quantity of jet fuel and kerosene.

Irungu said the plan was halted after the company realised that it could still be served by the Kenyan Shilling 48 billion ($438 million) new line launched in 2018.

"We realised it would be a waste of funds when we can still operate the new line to cover for what we would have needed the repaired pipeline for. We will come up with a better plan for the old line," Ngugi said.

Part of the new plan may involve using the line to ferry natural gas from the Coast.  Another proposal is to clean the pipeline and use it for supplying water to the region.

The tendering had already begun, according to insiders, with a Dutch consultant having been hired to examine the old line, and having already identified corroded sections in need of replacement.

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