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Environment study paves the way for Lokichar pipeline

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A pipeline at Mombasa sub-station. The Lamu to
A pipeline at Mombasa sub-station. The Lamu to Lokichar crude oil pipeline will will also have fuel station. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA 

The Environmental Social Impact Assessment report for the Lamu to Lokichar Crude Oil Pipeline (LLCOP) project has been released to members of the public.

The report was undertaken by Golder Associates (UK) Limited, an international consultancy, and Kenyan ESF Consultants.

A senior officer who took part in compiling the report and who requested to remain anonymous told Shipping that the report has also a been submitted to the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) and is out for public consumption.

“We undertook various public participation forums, especially for residents in all the counties where the pipeline cuts across including Lamu. We prepared the scoping report which was then given to members of the public as well as Nema. As we speak, visibility studies are underway in all the areas that the pipeline passes through,” said the official on phone.

The report indicates that the pipeline will be underground but will have some above ground installations at suitable locations.

The LLCOP project, which is set to start in 2022, is one of the major infrastructure investments by the national government and is apart of the Sh2.5 trillion Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project which is underway at Kililana in Lamu West.

The Lokichar to Lamu oil pipeline project is perceived as the next frontier on matters economy, trade, industry and employment of locals in the region.

Being a key component of the LAPSSET project, the LLCOP will be an economic game changer, particularly for the six counties that the pipeline will cut across.

Various stakeholders interviewed said the project is anticipated to open up the northern Kenya region to both trade and investment.

What does the pipeline entail?

The pipeline is about 820 kilometres long and needs a 26-metre wide temporary corridor for construction and a six-metre wide corridor for permanent operation.

As a sub-component of LAPSSET, the pipeline will be routed for its entire length within the corridor.

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The LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority is the lead government organisation responsible for the development of the corridor and will be the leasor of the pipeline to LLCOP which will in turn be responsible for the construction and operation of the pipeline.

Secondly, LLCOP will comprise of 16 above ground installations which include pumping stations, pressure reduction stations and electricity generation stations.

The pipeline will also have an oil storage facility at the new Lamu port in Kililana, Lamu West.

The proposed oil storage facility is however still being assessed to determine whether there will be either an onshore facility comprising storage tanks and associated infrastructure or whether there will be an offshore facility consisting of a floating storage vessel moored to the export berth.

The construction phase will see up to six camps which will provide accommodation for workers and areas for storage of equipment and other materials.

The six counties that the LLCOP crosses include Turkana, Samburu, Isiolo, Meru, Garissa and Lamu.

The route was developed to incorporate an engineering design, constructability, accessibility and logistical aspects for both construction and operation.

The purpose of the LLCOP project is to provide transportation, storage and export of crude oil from the Lokichar fields.

The project will link the oil fields with international markets.

According to the report, construction time will be two to three years.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) managing director Daniel Manduku, during his recent tour of Lamu port, said that plans were in place to ensure that the pipeline project commences.

Mr Manduku said they were engaging various private sector investors before deciding the appropriate investor to work with in implementing the project.

“We are discussing matters to do with the Lokichar-Lamu Crude Oil Pipeline. The project is lined up to take place in 2022.

“We want to give a duration of two years after completion of the first three berths at the LAPSSET so that we can use this period to engage private sector investors to see which one to work with in implementing the project,” said Mr Manduku.

The government entered into a joint development agreement with the Kenya Joint Venture comprising of Tullow Oil Kenya BV, Africa Oil Kenya BV, and Total Oil for the development of the pipeline.

The facility will be used to transport stabilised crude oil from the South Lokichar Basin to the Lamu port.

The LLCOP therefore supports one of the key pillars for economic development and as a key component of the LAPSSET programme is expected to reinforce the Vision 2030 strategy as well as development of the country.

The project will lead to job and business creation along the route.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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