In a masterminded blunder by KPC bosses to not install leak detection system on Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline is now estimated to cost Sh2 billion. The sourcing of a contractor to instal the system will push the cost of the 450-kilometre pipeline at least Sh64 billion.
Lebanese firm Zakhem International Construction (ZIC) was hired by KPC to build the line at Sh49 billion. It was to be completed on September 30, 2016 but a series of delays saw the project commissioned in 2018.
Chinese Shengli Engineering and Consulting Company (SLECC) was also hired by KPC for Sh12 billion to supervise construction of the pipeline.
Though Zakhem wanted to instal the leak detection system at an extra cost of Sh400 million during the construction of the line, KPC never saw the sense behind it. KPC managers instead sought to have the system procured as a separate component.
Fafi MP Abdikarim Osman – who is a member of the National Assembly Energy Committee says KPC top officials have not convinced the panel chaired by Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria why Zakhem was not allowed to instal the gadget.
“KPC management is very opaque. Had Zakhem been allowed to instal the detector, Kenyans would not be asked to pay the Sh2 billion,” Mr Osman said.
In a May 22, 2019 letter to KPC acting General Manager Infrastructure Joseph Kones, Zakhem says the system would have minimised leakages and damage to the environment.
“It would be more costly to instal the system since the pipeline would have to be activated first. Installation of the system was cancelled by KPC at the last minute,” Zakhem Project Manager John Begisen says.
At least 194,000 litres of petroleum products belonging to oil marketing companies, reportedly, was lost during a spillage in Kiboko, Makueni County, last year.
“With our experience in construction of pipelines, repairs and replacement of existing ones, ZIC had foreseen such problems,” the letter from KPC said that the markerters will be compensated at the taxpayer’s expense.