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The Cabinet yesterday approved the planned upgrade of the Mombasa-based refinery at a cost of $322 million(Sh22 Billion Kenyan Shillings). Improvements of the efficiency and infrastructure at the refinery is part of a plan to meet growing demand from landlocked neighbours Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC.

A statement from the Presidential Press Service said the plan had been approved during a cabinet meeting held at State House Nairobi. The financing plan is based on a report by a group of consultants, who had also said building a new refinery would cost a whopping $1Billion (Sh70 Billion Kenyan Shillings).



"The Cabinet resolved that the modernisation option was more cost effective," the statement said. of the Sh22 billion, Sh14 billion will go towards the actual upgrade of the refinery and investment in clean fuel technology, Sh3.1 billion to build facilities to import, store and transport liquid petroleum gas.

Another Sh1.5 billion will be used to build the first phase of improving the refinery terminal, while the rest of the amount is financing and interest charges during construction. The Kenyan Petroleum Refineries has a capacity of 3 million tonnes per year (about 60,000 barrels per day) and half is owned by the Kenyan Government.

Shell, British Petroleum (BP) and Caltex - part of the US company Chevron corporation hold the remaining shares. The statement added that the government will look for partners to help fund the upgrade through competitive bidding and will retain its 50 percent stake in the refinery. Once the upgrade is complete, it will produce low-sulphur diesel and better quality unleaded gasoline.

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