Home Business Firm in deadly Embakasi blast operated LPG site illegally – EPRA

Firm in deadly Embakasi blast operated LPG site illegally – EPRA

Area residents report hearing loud blasts that echoed through the area, prompting widespread concern and fear.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) says the company involved in last nights’ deadly explosion that left two people dead and more than 300 injured was operating without it’s approval.

The regulator says Derdols Petroleum Limited which owns the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage and refilling plant under the name Maxxis Nairobi Energy,  had submitted construction permits for the facility based in Mradi area, Embakasi East Constituency in Nairobi County on three occasions, on March 19, June 20, and July 31 last year, all of which were rejected.

“The main reason for the rejection was failure of the designs to meet the safety distances stipulated in the Kenya Standard. EPRA noted the high population density around the proposed site and the applicant was requested to submit a Qualitative Risk Assessment (QRA)clearly indicating the radiation blast profiles in the unfortunate case of an explosion like the one that happened yesterday,” EPRA said in a statement Friday.

According to EPRA, the firm failed to submit QRA which indicate blast profile such as the one which occurred at around 11:30PM on February 1, 2023.

EPRA says the blast profiles are simulated by use of computer software and indicate the effect of a typical blast in terms of heat radiation and tremor/vibration and are useful in reviewing the safety of the surrounding areas.

“The applicant never provided the requested QRA resulting in the rejection of the applications. Email correspondences providing reasons for the rejection were sent to the applicant,” said the authority.

The question which will be asked is how the firm bypassed all the laws and escaped the eyes of law enforcement agencies to set up the illegal facility despite EPRA’s intense administrative actions to rein in illegal plants operating in the country.