Uganda to import petroleum products via Kenya’s Mombasa port

Kenya will enable Uganda’s state oil firm to import petroleum products through its Mombasa port, Reuters reported quoting Kenyan energy minister as saying to local newspaper on Thursday. The move will end the longstanding importation row that had caused diplomatic problems between the two neighbours.

Landlocked Uganda, which imported $1.6 billion worth of petroleum products in 2022 primarily from the Gulf, traditionally relied on Kenya for 90 per cent of its imports. However, to address supply vulnerabilities and improve retail prices, Uganda has been seeking alternative ways of importing its petroleum products, including through a Tanzanian port.

Using Kenyan firms to import oil had “exposed Uganda to occasional supply vulnerabilities where the Ugandan retail companies were considered secondary whenever there were supply disruptions,” a move that affected retail prices, the government said at the time.  The country plans to grant exclusive supply rights to a unit of global energy trader Vitol.

“You will see UNOC (Uganda National Oil Company) getting a licence and then we will see how to work together,” Kenya’s Energy Minister Davis Chirchir told the Business Daily newspaper.

UNOC will use the Kenya Pipeline Company to move the products. This means Kenya will still benefit from the arrangement, the minister added.

Following a meeting between Kenya’s President William Ruto and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, both countries have committed to resolving the oil import dispute.

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