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EPRA Reveals Companies Linked To Tycoon’s Family Set To Make Billions In New G-2-G Oil Deal

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The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) Director General David Kiptoo in a recent interview with local television station revealed two more companies that they’ve incorporated into the lucrative government-government oil import deal that has been a center of controversy for the Kenya Kwanza government, this addition now bring the number of oil firms to five.

In the video clip seen by Kenya Insights, the regulator revealed that One Petroleum Ltd and Asharami Synergy Ltd as the new entrants to the deal.

Under the current arrangement, three Kenyan oil marketing companies (OMCs) own cargo upon delivery to Mombasa port by international Gulf-based oil giants Emirates National Oil, Abu Dhabi National Oil and Saudi Aramco.

The Kenyan OMCs are Galana Oil, Gulf Energy and Oryx Energy.

According to a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) brief, by mid-November 2023, oil imports under the scheme amounted to about $3.7 billion (Sh592 billion). Letters of credit worth over $784 million (Sh125.4 billion) were also settled underlining the lucrative nature of the deal for players in it.

Companies linked to influential family

Kenya Insights has learnt that the two new firms are linked to Mombasa tycoon and a politically well connected businessman Mohammed Jaffer and his family. Jaffer who has managed to secure safe ties with political regimes since Moi, was previously supporting Raila in the lost elections before jumping sides and making peace with president William Ruto whom he had opposed.

One Petroleum is a subsidiary of Mbaraki Bulk Terminal Ltd, a multi-petroleum products handling facility at the port of Mombasa, the firm according to records is partly owned by the sleek businessman.

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The company has also listed amongst them Jaffer’s family members; Mojtaba Mohamed Jaffer, Ali Abbas Jaffer and Mohamed Husein Jaffer as its directors.

Others are Solomon Esebwe Mwanjuma Ondego, Ali Salaah Balala and Jonathan James Stokes.

Balala serves as its executive director while Nicholas Kokita is the company’s secretary.

It is owned by MJ Group, a Mombasa-based bulk cargo handling company, and its main branch is along Dedan Kimathi Road in the Mombasa Coastal City.

The Jaffers are also associated with Africa Gas and Oil Company, One Gas Ltd and Grain Bulk Handlers.

Africa Gas is partly controlled by the Mombasa billionaire businessman Mohammed Jaffer, who is also the owner of Grain Bulk Handlers. The company imports the bulk of the LPG consumed in Kenya and also controls a significant transit market to neighboring countries.

The business mogul mid-2021 signed up its grip on the lucrative cooking gas market after Proto Gas its flagship cooking gas brand got the State’s nod to snap up a rival cooking gas Solutions East Africa, whose LPG products trade as SeaGas.

The businessman has been able to maintain a monopoly not only in the port operations but also in the LPG industry. His empire however has been threatened with Ruto bringing in a new entrant Taifa Gas owned by Tanzanian billionaire Rostam Aziz who has put up a 30,000 tonne gas plant at the Dongo Kundu SEZ in Likoni and posed to yank a considerable chunk of the market share.

Jaffer however seem to have made peace with the president and won another tender.

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In 2021, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) went to court accusing their family oil and gas firms of Sh68 million tax evasion.

Asharami Energy is a subsidiary of Sahara Group, a Gulf-based oil multinational whose shareholders have interests in Emirates National Oil, Abu Dhabi National Oil and Saudi Aramco.

Official Documents show Oryx Energies Ltd, was registered on March 27, 2003. Herve Christophe Bouvet and August Dominick Mrema (both foreigners) are listed as directors while Kenyan Conrad Nyukuri is the company secretary.

The shareholders are listed as Overseas Petroleum Holdings SA, whose head offices are in Geneva, Switzerland and Johannesburg-headquartered Oryx Energies SA. Its listed office is Queensway House on Kaunda Street in Nairobi.

Galana Energies Ltd has as directors Shivam Raj Khanna (alternate director to Sheetal Rasenda Khan), George Ngige Kahira, Mary Waithera Kabiru and Jonathan Kahira Ngige, Isaac Mukui Nduru, Joseph Gitau Mburu, Sheetal Rasendra Khanna and John Morris Ohaga.

Its shareholders are London-headquartered Sai Iram Investments Company Ltd and Tapiola Ltd, a shareholder in oil marketer, Galana Oil Kenya Limited.

It operates out of Cotts House along Kaunda Street in Nairobi.

Asharami Synergy Ltd, which indicates its office as being housed at Vision Plaza, Mombasa Road in Nairobi, is owned by Sahara Group, which was founded in 1996 by Adebola Adesanya Ewaola, Tonye Cole and Tobe Shonubi, in Nigeria.

In his company, Ewaola is recorded as the director alongside their Kenyan subsidiary Asharami Energy (Kenya) Ltd.

A Kenyan Mark Samuel Muriithi is the company secretary. The firm says it operates out of Vision Plaza along Mombasa Road in Nairobi.

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In 2021, Debola Adesanya, the firm’s country manager, said the company would leverage its affiliation with its parent company to join forces with relevant stakeholders in the energy sector to enhance capacity building, access to clean energy and sustainable development in Kenya.

Sahara Group is a leading energy conglomerate with operations in over 40 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.


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