- Energy regulator increases costs on the back of rising global crude prices
Motorists will have to pay more to keep their vehicles on the road after the Energy Regulatory Commission raised petrol pump prices by at least Sh6.81 a litre on the back of rising world fuel prices.
Diesel went up by at least Sh3.67 and kerosene Sh2.14, according to new prices released by the ERC on Saturday.
The new prices are expected to affect private motorists, haulage companies, public service vehicle operators and other consumers of super and diesel fuels.
Petrol will retail at Sh118.50 in Nairobi, diesel at Sh108.80 per litre and kerosene Sh86.28. Last month, the price of petrol rose by 37 cents and kerosene by 39 cents. The price of diesel fell by 17 cents.
ERC Director-General Kaburu Mwirichia cited increases in prices of crude oil and refined petroleum products in the international market in the last two months as the reasons for the rise.
“This has had a negative impact on current and subsequent price reviews,” he said.
According to ERC, the price of Murban crude oil rose from US$114.20 per barrel in January to $120.45 in February. It climbed further to $126.99 in March, an increase of 5.43 per cent.
About 40 per cent of fuel consumed in Kenya consists of Murban crude that is imported from the United Arab Emirates. The rest is imported as refined products through the competitive open tender system.
The current prices will be in force until May 14.
The rise in prices is a major blow to motorists and kerosene users who had started enjoying relief this year after prices rose steadily last year.
In his statement on Saturday, Mr Mwirichia hinted that prices would still be high in the next review, saying the effect of the rise in international fuel prices will negatively impact subsequent reviews.
ERC takes into consideration international price changes, exchange rates, details of when the cargo was bought and information from the industry to set the maximum prices.
The rise in prices comes a few days after President Kibaki announced discovery of oil in Turkana County. Experts, however, warn it will take several years for the oil to be exploited commercially and its effect felt in the energy sector.