The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has launched a campaign to promote the safe use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the country.
Dubbed Stori ya Gas, the public education campaign will sensitize traders, consumers and other stakeholders on the Petroleum (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) Regulations, 2019, that underscore consumer safety and fair competition in the industry.
According to data from EPRA, the country has recorded more 12 accidents involving gas cylinder explosions over the last two years claiming at least eight lives.
The accidents can be attributed to poor handling of gas cylinders.
“The 2019 regulations will revolutionize and sanitize the LPG sector in the country. Not only will they heighten the safety of consumers, but they will also bring order and fair play in the industry while tackling perennial challenges such as illegal refiling and rebranding of gas cylinders,” said Pavel Oimeke, Director General, EPRA.
The Petroleum (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) Regulations 2019 were gazetted on 25th June 2019 in alignment with the provisions of section 101 of The Petroleum Act, 2019. The regulations took full effect on 31st March 2020 after the expiry of a 9-month transition period.
Notable safety measures being implemented under the regulations include tracking of cylinders throughout the distribution chain and the ban of gas cylinders that bear no brand names in order to enhance accountability and traceability as well as insurance of consumers against gas-related accidents.
The regulations also require brand owners to educate consumers on safe handling and use of LPG through instructions affixed onto the cylinder.
“We encourage consumers to only purchase their gas from licensed LPG retailers. At the point of sale, they should witness weighing of the cylinder and compare the resulting weight with the gross weight indicated on the body of the cylinder. Additionally, they should make sure that the gross weight is recorded on the receipt issued to them. This will protect consumers against overfills that could result in gas accidents and enhance traceability,” added Oimeke.
It is anticipated that the implementation of the regulations will enable Kenya to achieve higher LPG usage/consumption from the current 6.4 kgs per capita as at the end of2019 to 15 kgs per capita due to improved market confidence among investors.
Enforcement of the regulations is spearheaded by EPRA in collaboration with other government agencies including the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA), the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) the National Police Service and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation(DCI) among others.