Liquiﬁed Petroleum Gas in Kenya (LPG) is an increasingly popular fuel for cooking. It is widely available from refineries, Where it is often ﬂared as a waste product.
For decentralised use, LPG is transported and stored as a compressed liquid (hence LPG) in canisters ranging in size between 3kg and 50kg or larger. For household use, gas is conveyed via simple regulators and pipes to cookers or lamps which are specially made for LPG use.
Gas canisters and regulators are normally sold and refilled by petroleum distributors. LPG is among the most clean, versatile and modern fuels on the market. The price of gas is competitive and affordable by a wide group of consumers. It gives off lower green-house gas emissions than alternatives, and use of gas is a direct off-set to deforestation. Countries with wood fuel shortages should seriously consider setting up an LPG infrastructure.
Kenya mainly imports LPG from Bahrain. LPG demand in the country has in the period risen from 78,000 tonnes in 2008 to the current level of 100,000 tonnes.
The country’s consumption of LPG is extremely low compared to countries such as Senegal, which has a per capita consumption of12.2kg. Kenya consumes about 2.1kg per capita.
Lack of large storage facilities in the country means only small consignments of LPG could be brought in at any given time and these could still be subject to unforeseen hitches.
A public -private partnership will see the construction of a 7,000 metric tonne storage facility that is being built by Africa Gas and Oil company.
Initially, it will be for 7,000 tonnes and then thereafter it will go to 14,000 tonnes and then up to 25,000 tonnes.
The increased storage capacity should allow greater imports of LPG. Currently, marketers are not able to bring in big ships with LPG. So if there is a small delay and the storage is not adequate, there is a countrywide shortage, pushing prices up.