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Fuel shortage bites in Nairobi amid hoarding claims

Fuel shortage continued for the third day on Tuesday as the regulator blamed oil marketers.

“We have adequate stocks but we suspect some dealers may be hoarding waiting for the announcement of this month’s maximum pump prices,” Energy Regulatory Commission director Joe Ng’ang’a said by telephone on Tuesday.

He warned dealers found hoarding of stern action.

This month’s maximum pump prices are expected to be announced on Thursday.

There has been a shortage of mainly super fuel since Saturday. Diesel and kerosene were generally available.

Most petrol stations in the city were not selling super.


“We don’t have fuel, try elsewhere,” an attendant at a station on Haile Selassie Avenue said. He could not explain why they were not selling super petrol.

An attendant at a station on Kenyatta Avenue said they expected supplies to be delivered Tuesday night.

Most motorists, especially in Nairobi, are queueing at the few petrol stations where super is available.

“I have been to petrol stations on Thika Road but I could not get super and drove to Westlands. I wasn’t lucky there but told me to go to Limuru Road where I found some,” motorist Joram Gitaka said.

Mr Ng’ang’a attributed the shortage to increased fuel use after prices fell recently.

He also added that there might be traders who want to buy stocks for speculation.

Vivo Energy Kenya, which runs Shell-branded petrol stations, blamed the fuel shortage on uneven allocation of fuel storage space to oil marketers.

The company won a tender to supply fuel last month and said 44 per cent of the storage space was allotted to 67 marketing firms that account for only three per cent of the market.


However, a statement from energy commission accused Shell of expanding too fast to a point of being unable to supply all with fuel.

The shortage could however be as a result of big oil retailer fight to edge out independent retailers from the system.

In statement made earlier Petroleum Institute of East Africa Chairman, and managing director of Vivo Energy Kenya Polycarp Igathe blamed depot regulations at Kipevu oil storage facility saying corruption has seen smaller investors get bigger share at the expense of giant firms.

“The sharing capacity at Kipevu is skewed. Nine out of 100 distributors have 50 per cent of storage shares, yet they (the nine) have 3 per cent of market share,” Mr Igathe said.

Source: Daily Nation