Sh1.8bn rehabilitated Nairobi-Nanyuki Railway line to pave way for cheaper fuel - Beaking Kenya News

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Thursday, 6 August 2020

Sh1.8bn rehabilitated Nairobi-Nanyuki Railway line to pave way for cheaper fuel

National Youth Service men work on the Nanyuki railway line on January 30, 2020.

The newly refurbished Nairobi-Nanyuki Railway line will soon pave way for cheaper and safer fuel for Kenyans in the Mount Kenya and Northern regions, Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau said

Making the announcement in Nanyuki on Wednesday during a familiarisation tour of the line, Kamau told other stakeholders that after the pipeline, railway transport is a cheaper way to transport fuel than road because it is faster and safer.

“As government we are very excited that with funds that came from KPC, Kenya Railways has been able to execute this project within a few months and we look forward to its commissioning very soon,” Kamau said.

The Sh1.8 billion used to support rehabilitation of the Nairobi-Nanyuki Meter Gauge Railway, was part of KPC’s remittances to the exchequer in form of special dividends.

“I am happy that we already have an anchor client for this rehabilitated line in the name of Vivo Energy Kenya who are ready to utilise the line by ferrying fuel from Nairobi to Nanyuki for easy access to consumers in several counties in this region,” the PS added.

Accompanying PS Kamau was his transport counterpart Solomon Kitungu who said that the line which had been under utilised for many years was now ready to open up several economic opportunities in the region.

“I congratulate Kenya Railways for the speedy completion of this project because the economic benefits of this refurbished line especially in agriculture will go beyond the Mount Kenya region to other neighbouring counties. There will also be less accidents on our roads hence saving on lives,” Kitungu said.

He added that the rehabilitated line will also contribute significantly to the realisation of the government’s Big Four agenda.   

Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi said the refurbished line will open a new chapter in the region’s economy which he approximated to be about one trillion shillings.

“This line will not only enable us import critical products such as fuel and farm inputs, but it will also improve our capacity to export our homegrown agricultural products to intended markets on time and in an efficient way,” the Laikipia county boss said during a tour of Vivo Energy depot in Nanyuki.

“With this line, I see Nanyuki becoming a natural logistics hub for more than 10 counties in this region. Besides the line easing our logistics in the way we conduct our business, there is bound to be significant growth for Nanyuki,” the Governor said.   

Petroleum products being the key cargo for this line, Kenya Railways will be charging about Sh82,000 for a single 50-tonne of fuel tank with a tonne costing Sh1,640.

Vivo Energy Kenya, which is the anchor client for commercial trains, intends to transport 15 million litres of fuel every month from Nairobi to their depot in Nanyuki.

“Our Nanyuki depot has a capacity of about 12 million litres and ferrying fuel via the railway will bridge the supply gap as only five million litres capacity was being utilised,” Genesio Mugo, Vivo’s Stakeholder and Government Relations Manager said. 

Mugo said that with the new line, Vivo Energy will now be moving five million litres of fuel per month with the numbers expected to rise to 15 million litres of fuel per month to serve more than eight counties in the region.

“Kenya Railways, and by extension government, has made it possible for us to remove over 300 trucks of fuel from our roads every month hence saving on our roads,” Mugo said.

“This is a big win for us because as Vivo, we will now introduce safety not only on our roads with the reduction of trucks but also our environment because of reduced cases of deadly fires, accidents and pilferage,” Mugo concluded.  

Kenya Railways is expecting to generate over Sh370.4 million revenue per year from the revived line.

The corporation has finalised negotiations on proposed rates with the business community for the cargo and passenger trains with the bulk of the revenue coming from the commercial operations.

The rehabilitated 240-kilometre line’s official launch by President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to take place soon.

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