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In order to support its water demand, the Kenya Petroleum Refinery will put up a water recycling plant.
According to The East African, the decision came about after the refinery’s three-day closure last week stemming from lack of water after Coast Water Services Board pipes from Mzima Springs burst.
The plant is designed for a capacity of 4 million metric tons per year, and is the only major refinery in East Africa.
On November 15 and 17, Mombasa experienced a massive water shortage due to bursting of Mzima water pipe at Taru in Kwale district. The pipe burst due to floods that hit most parts of Kenya, especially Kwale district, through which the pipe passes.
The project is expected to be launched early next year and will focus on harvesting rain water, which currently has been going to waste in the Ocean.
The current facility has a buffer tank that normally stocks 11 million liters of water, but lasts only six days. Therefore, even after the recycling plant is built, the refinery will still have to get extra water from the Coast Water Services Board.
In addition to the burst pipes, the board has been losing a lot of water through illegal connections.
The refinery also produces LPG cooking gas (liquefied petroleum gas), and cannot afford shutdowns that affect the economy of the entire region.
The Mombasa refinery produces about 60 per cent of the country’s demand for LPG gas needs, with the rest of it being imported from abroad.
The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on energy, communication and works reported that the plants needs $200 million to upgrade its facilities and produce thermal electricity for its own consumption.