Firm seeks licence for LPG facility

By Murimi Mutiga
Friday, September 27th, 2019

Another private company has joined the growing list of firms scrambling for Kenya’s untapped Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) market with the local investors seeking to put up a 30,000 tonnes storage terminals near the Port of Mombasa.

Focus Container Freight Station has sought the approval of National Environment Management Authority (Nema) and Energy Regulatory Authority (ERC) to construct the facility at Kipevu near the Kenya Pipeline Company storage tanks.

The company which will operate its business under the name of Focus LPG Terminals joins about seven others seeking to get a stake of the LPG market whose demand is expected to reach over 250,000 tonnes by 2020.

Spur growth

Experts say the fight for a piece of the pie has been ignited by a number of issues among them removal of value added tax (VAT) on the commodity to spur growth of usage, ban on logging and ceding of bulk importation of the commodity by the government to private companies.

Focus Container Freight Station Director Faisal Abass told an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) public hearing on the project that the investment will involve the construction of a common user facility that will enable the oil marketer to import and supply  LPG at low price to the end users.

He said the firm is looking at fulfilling the government’s blue print of raising per capita consumption of cooking gas to 10 kilos from the current less than two kilos. 

“Therefore, the project primarily entails establishing an LPG depot for sale to residents, industries and institutions,” he said. 

However, the company’s plan is facing hurdles after a section of residents from adjacent densely populated Chaani-Migadini slums raised concerns over their safety.

The residents through Chaani-Community Based Organisation (CBO) claim that propane being a highly flammable gas put the slum dwellers and their properties at great risk in case of explosion.

In a petition signed by about 560 villagers, the CBO also expressed fear that some of the residents could be evicted to create a buffer-zone.

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