Following the fuel crisis looming in Kenya since last week and currently affecting Uganda, a top government official has assured the Business Times that local pump prices won’t be affected.
The crisis is attributed to a dispute between market leader in Kenya, KenolKobil, and the industry regulator, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). It allegedly came about when KenolKobil’s crude import licence was withdrawn by the Kenyan government early this month.
Emmanuel Hategeka, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, has said that this will not affect local prices in the near future; but if it persists, there is no doubt Rwanda will be affected.
“We are trying to manage the existing stock and replenishing it so that we won’t be affected in the meantime,” Hategeka said.
Every end-of-month, government meets with petroleum dealers to review price trends on the international and regional market, in order to determine the local pump price.
Late last week, pump prices of petrol and diesel on the local market dropped from Rwf 925 to Rwf 920 and from Rwf 917 to Rwf 913 respectively after the meeting between oil dealers and government officials.
Despite the slump in local prices, pump prices in most stations in neighbouring Uganda and Kenya have shot up, while others have closed down due to lack of fuel.
However, 80 percent of the fuel consumed locally comes from Dar el Salaam. Meanwhile, according to Hategeka, the supply from Kenya is very much needed because it is the cheapest.
“The Kenyan pipeline serves a lot of consumers along the way, making it difficult to bring in the required supply,” he added.
“To offset upheavals caused by international and regional price fluctuations, a Fuel Storage Facility is being built to assist in controlling local pump prices in case of a sudden price hike. The facility is set to be completed before the end of next year,” according to the officials.