Kenya will spend Sh2.2 billion on acquiring 720,000 cooking gas cylinders and several refill plant machinery through a State-owned fuels dealer as it rolls out a programme to entrench use of the commodity among low income households.
The State Department of Petroleum Principal Secretary Engineer Andrew Kamau said the move would help the government avail affordable cooking gas to low and middle income Kenyans who mainly rely on kerosene for cooking.
“This is the second tranche to be procured for the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) where we first bought 400,000 cooking gas cylinders. We plan to phase out Kerosene but want to avail an alternative for Kenyans to use once the programme is implemented,” he said.
In a paid up advertisement, the ministry invited bids for supply of 720,000 empty cooking gas cylinders weighing 6 kilogrammes in four lots open to all businesses with a separate bid made for supply of 720,000 burners in five lots that has been reserved for youth, women and people with disability.
A third bid comprising of five lots has also been advertised for supply of 720,000 metal grills for the cooking gas cylinders, with this tender reserved for youth, women and people with disability.
In mid-2016, NOCK announced launch of Project Mwananchi campaign where it disclosed plans to introduce 4.3 million cooking gas cylinders into Kenyan households in the next three years.
The company sells the 6kilogramme,13 kilogramme and 50kilogramme cylinders that are refilled at its refilling plant based at Nairobi’s Industrial Area.
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics data shows that in 2016, Kenyans consumed 152,000 metric tonnes of gas.
The uptake should however be higher, but for prohibitive costs that has locked out many poor households from affording the commodity that is seen as a cleaner alternative to wood fuels and kerosene.
The sector is also affected by constant wrangles between large marketers and smaller independent sellers.
Oil marketers have accused the smaller unlicensed gas operators of undercutting the market through irregular refilling.