Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) announced the finalization of a refined products 20-inch pipeline linking Nairobi with Mombasa in 2018. The construction of the pipeline began in 2014 in order to replace a decrepit, 16- inch old one from 1973, which already had outlived its lifespan.

The 16-inch pipeline had been prone to leakages along the area, leading to construction of the Sh48 billion-line parallel to it as a replacement.

Barely a year after the construction of Sh48 billion pipeline, an oil spill occurred at Kiboko in Makueni County, leading to a loss of 551,000 litres valued at Sh63 million.

According to Daily Nation, a costly blunder was made during the construction as leak detection systems were not included in the design stage, making it as bad as the leak-prone old one that was meant to be replaced in the new venture.

“Leak detection was not included in the design stage, which is very unfortunate given that it was our second time constructing a pipeline. That was an unnecessary and costly omission but we have budgeted for it in the next financial year. For now, I can’t tell you how much it will cost because it will be an open tender,” Mr Hudson Andambi who was the KPC acting managing director was quoted by the daily nation in 2019.

On Monday, a leakage was again detected on the 20-inch Mombasa- Nairobi Pipeline near Mariakani, but the quantity of fuel lost has not yet been confirmed. According to the locals the leakage started over the weekend.

Business Daily Newspaper reported that KPC Managing Director Irungu Macharia, on Wednesday said the leak on the old line from Mombasa, which was first detected on Monday near Mariakani, had been resolved and product flow restored.

KPC has, however, dedicated the old line to transporting dual purpose kerosene combining Jet-A1 and paraffin.

“We noticed decreased pressure on the line and rushed to the scene where we closed the valve to create product backflow to Mombasa. The incident was not due to any intrusion and we have since rectified it and restored transport. It did not affect diesel and petrol which we transport using the new line,” Mr Irungu Macharia was quoted by Business Daily.

The line suffered similar leakages in the area in September 2018 and in 2011 in what is blamed on the soil type as well as weaknesses on the corroded 40-year-old line.

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