The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has introduced new LPG gas regulations to fight counterfeits and create safety guarantees.
The measures are aimed at restoring safety to the LPG market by closing down opportunities for illegal refilling, illegal rebranding, and counterfeiting of gas cylinders. The changes come as part of a government drive to position LPG as Kenya’s primary cooking fuel to end the health and environmental problems caused by cooking with firewood and charcoal.
Unveiling the new regulations today, Mr Pavel Oimeke Director General of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) said it will no longer be mandatory for LPG retailers to swap any brand of cylinder.
“The mandatory interchange of LPG cylinders has seen brands lose track of 90 per cent of the cylinders they had invested in, stalling investment in further cylinders, and seeing legal checks set aside as nameless refillers resold cylinders, but could not be made accountable for safety breaches,” said Mr Oimeke.
LPG brands will now be responsible for guaranteeing the safety of every cylinder. The brands, which will only swap their cylinders for new ones through their own branded retail points, must also now add safety instructions onto each cylinder, including guides on what to do if consumers smell a gas leak.
Government, industry and regulators are therefore now working to make LPG the primary cooking fuel in Kenya. In addition to the new regulations, government plans to increase LPG imports and storage at Mombasa, while the industry is increasing its investments in LPG cylinders six-fold.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) changed its named from Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in March 28, 2019. This was done under the Petroleum Act 2019 which taskes EPRA with regulating the importation, refinement, exportation, transportation, storage and sale of petroleum and attendant petroleum products, with the exception of crude oil. Additionally, it established the legislative framework guiding the exploration and production of petroleum resources in Kenya.