KCB Bank Kenya has injected over Kshs. 120 billion to support oil marketing companies(OMCs) importing fuel as it seeks to consolidate its support to the energy sector. The bank has been facilitating oil importation into the country by financing the oil firms under its portfolio that have won business under the open tender system (OTS) through the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining. This gives the oil marketers a strongroom to import refined white oils from multinational oil suppliers for distribution across in Kenya and the wider East African region. The tenders financed include the importation of jet fuel, petrol and diesel products.
Paul Russo, Chief Executive Officer, KCB Group said: “KCB is a champion of regional trade, extending its services across the border of East Africa and beyond as a catalyst of the energy sector. We are working with the oil marketers to better support them to compete in the global petroleum market.” Under the OTS system, the winning oil marketer imports the fuels on behalf of the other firms using the confirmed allocations. The other oil marketers are mandated to off take their volumes upon arrival.
With the government indicating that it will do away with oil subsidies, the price of fuel in the country is set to surge in the coming months. Therefore, KCB’s contribution towards the stabilization of the prices in the short term will be vital. The centrality of energy in the economy has been identified as a key driver of the development agenda with ripple effect in all sectors of the economy.
Since 2005, Kenya has been importing refined petroleum products through OTS. Through this system, the winning bidder solely imports the petroleum products and delivers them to the port of Mombasa. In this respect, the other oil marketers buy from the importer. Importation of petroleum products through the OTS allows the oil marketing companies to access petroleum products at the same price and therefore levels competition in the petroleum market.
OTS is run through monthly tenders and entails sourcing of petroleum predominantly from the spot market. In this regard, petroleum is sourced from the open market without any prior contracts. The industry recognizes that OTS is an effective supply system that creates a competitive and transparent means of making the product available to Kenyans through economies of scale. KCB facilitates local and cross-border trading through operations and liquidity financing, as well as mitigating risks inherent in trade.