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Kenya

ERC to publish recommended cooking gas prices

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14 – The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is set to publish recommended prices of cooking gas in bid to cushion the public from being exploited.

ERC Director General Joe Ng’ang’a says the commission has noted that there is exorbitant pricing for LPG especially in urban centres.

Ng’ang’a says the commission is currently working on a pricing model with the stakeholders which is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

“We have already worked on the initial draft of the pricing model and shared it with the Industry. Once we finalise with the industry we will share it with the wider stakeholders; thereafter we can publish the prices in a bid to empower consumers,” he said.

The commission is also seeking mandate to regulate cooking gas prices in the proposed energy bill which has been finalised and is set to be presented to the Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir who will then present it to Parliament.

This comes as the Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA) raised alarm over the escalating cases of illegal trade in Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

The Institute’s Chairman Polycarp Igathe said 70 percent of the LPG business is illegal, pointing out that PIEA members will not take any responsibility for the integrity of most cylinders in the Kenyan market.

Igathe cautioned Kenyans to buy LPG from service stations warning that the content stocked in majority of supermarkets and estate outlets have not been filled or supplied by brand owners.

“Illegal LPG activities distort the market and are a danger to public safety, I will work towards enhancing the performance of the LPG cylinder exchange pool to ensure compliance and fair business practices,” Ng’ang’a said.

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On his part, ERC Director of Petroleum Linus Gitonga says the commission will seal all the unlicensed LPG storage and cylinder filling facilities.

“We have sealed about 22 facilities in Nairobi. This week the team is in Nakuru to seal three others and three others in Eldoret and we expect that all the unlicensed facilities will be sealed until they get a license, once they get a license they will break the seal,” said Gitonga.

He also revealed that plans are underway for the construction of a new Jetty in Mombasa which will accommodate two vessels at a time hence doubling the current jetty capacity.

“Currently the Kenya Ports Authority is procuring for a second jetty, the procurement process is already ongoing, once the construction is done we expect that it will minimise demurrage, accommodate larger vessels making shipping costs go down hence improving the consumer prices,” he said.

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