Petroleum refineries on Wednesday blamed the fuel shortage at the Moi International Airport on lack of payment for supplies.
The airport has been hit by jet fuel shortage and what it has can only last until Thursday, sparking fears of Jet A1 oil crisis.
This shortage caused the diversion of some flights to refuel elsewhere on Monday, until Total delivered 710,000 litres as a temporarily measure.
On Tuesday, wrangles between the airport’s four suppliers – KenolKobil, OilLibya, Total Kenya and Vivo (formerly Shell Kenya) – and the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited were cited as the cause of the shortage.
The refineries human resource manage Martin Wahome on Wednesday dismissed the claim, saying the refinery had become the ‘whipping boy’’ whenever there is a fuel crisis.
He instead blamed the airport suppliers, saying they should not expect to receive supplies without first paying.
“Pay first and then instruct us on what to do or where to pump any purchased product from our storage tanks,” he said in a telephone interview. “On Tuesday, we pumped 500,000 litres to Vivo that can last three to four days depending on the aeroplanes at the Moi International Airport.”
Due to the Jet A1 fuel crisis on Monday, at least four airlines were diverted to refuel elsewhere.
According to the airport manager, Yatich Kangugo, Edelweiss Air and a Swiss charter airline were advised on Monday to fuel in Egypt on their way to and from Zurich in Switzerland. A US military plane C130 was also diverted to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for refuelling.
An Ethiopian Airlines plane refuelled in Nairobi before landing in Mombasa as did a Rwanda Air aircraft on its way back to Kigali from Mombasa. The airport consumes an average of between 210,000 litres and 300,000 litres of fuel a day.