Kenya intends to construct three additional vessels to increase oil product exports to Uganda via Lake Victoria.
Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum Davis Chirchir has stated that this will increase the number of journeys to the landlocked country from once per week to once per day.
Despite beginning operations in early January, Kenya has only transported 20 million liters of petroleum products.
While the Ksh2 billion ($14.57 million) project built in February 2018 is underutilized, Chirchir asserts that the government is on course to restore its market share of East Africa’s oil exports.
“We have embarked on building three more ships so that the jetty can be doing shipments daily,” said the cabinet secretary.
After being shipped, the fuel is loaded onto trucks and sent to Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo from the Mahathi terminal in Entebbe.
Chirchir argued that using the lake for transport would not only save money, but also ease traffic on roads and make supplies more reliable.
The minister claims that 135 trucks’ worth of oil products can be transported by a single ship across the lake.
He added that the lack of ships was compounded by the fact that trucks entering Uganda had to navigate restricted roads.
“You are aware that we are obligated to serve the landlocked countries and it is our obligation to utilize this state-of-the-art facility which should have come up much earlier.
We have also sought the services of a Chinese contractor opening up the road so we can also move the trucks quickly,” he noted.