Inside Raila’s Multi-Billion Energy Empire

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his family are among the major players in Kenya’s energy sector, with significant investments in the energy sector. Through various market-leading companies, Odinga has interests across various facets of the sector, including the manufacturing and revalidation of LPG cylinders, and importation and distribution of petroleum products.

Here, Business Today looks at three companies associated with Odinga in the sector:

East African Spectre Limited

Odinga established EA Spectre Limited while working at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1971. According to the LPG cylinder manufacturing and revalidation company’s website, it controls about 20% market share in the manufacture of new LPG cylinders and over 80% of the cylinder revalidation market share.

The firm started out manufacturing casements, steel doors and windows before later venturing into manufacturing LPG cylinders after spotting a gap in the market.

On his LinkedIn profile, Odinga’s son Raila Odinga Junior indicates that he has been working as the Financial Director at Spectre’s Finance Director since August 2022.

The Azimio coalition leader sits on the company’s board, as does his spouse Ida Odinga and engineer Israel O. Agina. Raila’s elder brother Dr. Oburu Odinga chairs EA Spectre’s board of directors. Odinga has previously told the story of how he sold his car to buy equipment from an Indian businessman and established the business in Nairobi’s Industrial area – marking his first major foray into the business.

READ MORE > Raila the Entrepreneur: How He Built Gas Giant EA Spectre

BE Energy

BE Energy was founded in 2004 with a vision “To be the leader in oil and gas supply for the region”. The Odinga family owns a 35% stake in the company. Saudi Arabia’s Bakri family is the majority shareholder.

According to data from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra), Be Energy is the seventh largest oil retailer in Kenya, controlling 3.1 per cent of the fuel market in 2021 up from from 2.4 per cent in 2020. It also sells jet fuel to major airlines including Kenya Airways, KLM and Air France and has a fueling facility at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The company boasts storage facilities in Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu. It also exports petrol, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel and oil lubricants to countries including South Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Pan African Petroleum Company

Pan African Petroleum is involved in the importation of petroleum products. The Odinga family owns its stake in Be Energy through the Pan African Petroleum Company.

Raila Odinga Junior, who lists himself as an owner of BE Energy on LinkedIn, holds 25,000 shares in Pan African Petroleum, with other close family members also having significant stakes.

NEXT READ > 7 Luxury Hotels Owned by the Kenyatta Family

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