Essar Energy to exit Kenya refinery

India’s Essar Energy, which co-owns east Africa’s sole refinery in the port city of Mombasa, said yesterday it would sell its 50 per cent stake to Kenya’s government after abandoning plans for a $1.2bn (£740m) upgrade. Essar wanted to raise the refinery’s crude handling capacity to 4m tonnes of crude per year (79,000 barrels per day) by 2018 from 1.6m now but oil marketers in Kenya, unhappy with the refinery’s products, have called for it to be closed. Consultants told Essar the upgrade was “not economically viable”.