Among five-time Presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s vast investments in the energy sector is the petrol retail chain Be Energy.
The company has been gobbling up market share over the past few years as it aggressively expands its footprint. Data from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) indicates that Be Energy was the seventh largest oil retailer in Kenya as of 2021, controlling 3.1 per cent of the fuel market up from from 2.4 per cent in 2020. As of December 2022, it had grown further to control a 3.64% market share.
The retailer has outlets in densely-populated areas across counties including Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu and Uasin Gishu – with outlets in Syokimau, Racecourse, Ngong’, Rongai, Kangundo Road, Kayole, Limuru, Sagana, Athi River, Ruiru, Kitengela and Eldoret.
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga and members of his family are heavily invested in the operation. The Odinga family owns a 35% stake in the company, with 2,801 shares.
Saudi Arabia’s Bakri family is the majority shareholder in Be Energy, which was established in Kenya in 2004 as the local arm of a multinational venture controlled by the Bakri Family. The Bakri Family owns 5,201 shares in Be Energy through their company International Energy World S.A.
Odinga owns several other businesses in the energy sector. EA Spectre, his gas cylinder manufacturing and revalidation firm, was infamously raided by goons in Nairobi as Odinga led anti-government protests in March. The Odingas also control Pan African Petroleum, a company involved in the importation of petroleum products, and own their 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. Other family members also have significant stakes in the company.
Be Energy notably also sells jet fuel to airlines including Kenya Airways, KLM and Air France and has a fueling facility at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). It also operates storage facilities in Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu and exports petrol, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel and oil lubricants to countries including South Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).