NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7 – Kenyans now have the option of purchasing Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for amounts as low as Sh50 with the roll-out of a new gas product by Premier Gas.
Michael Momanyi the Premier Gas General Manager said the new product dubbed ‘Pima Gas’ comes in a one kilogram cylinder and is targeted at low income consumers, who will be able to purchase gas in small quantities.
“The concept is to introduce smaller cylinders that are portable that make it easier for our customers to access LPG. We also have a portable LPG dispenser that we will deploy. Our systems enable us to undertake partial fills,” he said.
Though gas prices are set to fluctuate, Momanyi said in today’s rates Sh50 should equal about a quarter kilogram of gas that should last a week.
It is estimated that over 97 percent of Kenya’s nine million households rely on traditional sources of cooking energy, with 68 percent opting to use kerosene, 17 percent using charcoal, 11 percent depending on LPG and four percent on electricity.
Momanyi said that with the launch of Pima Gas, the first product if it’s kind in the world, he hopes more consumers will embrace LPG as a choice gas in a market that is dominated by kerosene and biomass.
“Some of the challenges we found impeding adoption of LPG were high upfront costs, unreliable supply chains, the perception that LPG is unsafe and lack of knowledge,” he said.
Compared to other conventional gas options Momanyi argued that LPG enables users to cook in a cleaner environment unlike Kerosene that has been linked to causing Acute Respiratory Infections from the fumes it emits.
The Pima gas cylinders can be purchased at vending kiosks in Embakasi and Pipeline for Sh2,000, with more locations to open up in Kawangware and Ongata Rongai.
Eligible vendors will have to be a registered business and willing to put down a deposit of between Sh50,000-100,000 as well as undergo a week-long training course on using the equipment.
The concept for Prima Gas began three years ago and was partially financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for $2 million and is currently awaiting global patent approval.
In addition, Premier Gas is in the process of completing a storage terminal in the next three to six months at the cost of $4 million that will see the company’s capacity rise to 200 tonnes of LPG.