Petroleum dealers lobby, the Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA), has elected Powell Maimba as its new chairman.

Mr Maimba, the managing director at Galana Oil, takes over from Vivo Energy Kenya chief executive Polycarp Igathe who has served for two years. He will be assisted by Total Kenya managing director Anne¨-Solange Renouard as vice-¨chairperson. Mr Maimba is a seasoned petroleum industry professional who has previously worked as Engen Kenya's managing director and held executive positions at BP in Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa.

The appointment comes at a time when Kenya's top three oil marketing companies have seen their combined market share drop in the nine months ended September as their smaller rivals such as Gulf, Nock and Galana Oil expand their share.

Total, Vivo and KenolKobil's marketshare stood at 52.3 per cent in the period compared to 55 per cent a year before, according to PIEA statistics. Market leader Total saw its stake drop to 20.4 per cent from 21.1 per cent while that of Vivo declined to 18.1 per cent from 20 per cent. Kenol's fell slightly to 13.8 per cent from 13.9 per cent.

Galana Oil owns petrol stations in Kenya under the Delta brand name and produces Delgas cooking gas and Enoc motor oils and lubricants.

The tier three oil marketer also has operations in the region including Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.