Kenya is considering to convert a portion of its coal deposits to oil as part of measures to cushion the economy from the volatile fuel import market, Business Daily reported.
The country’s Petroleum Principal Secretary, Andrew Kamau, stated that the coal-to-liquid (CTL) option remains open while acknowledging the heavy initial costs of setting up a processing plant, informed Africa Business Communities. This came as more than 400m tons of coal deposits were recently discovered within the Kenya’s Mui Basin in Kitui, with further exploration ongoing. However, mining is yet to begin.
Coal is mainly burnt to produce electricity as a global practice but it can also be processed as an alternative petroleum as is the case in South Africa. Moreover, implementing the proposal would supplement Kenya’s oil deposits, estimated at 750m barrels, a portion of which the country seeks to start exporting mid this year to test the global market.
Oil is extremely important for Kenya’s foreign exchange dynamics, and oil accounts for about a fifth of its import bill.