Firm's gadgets cut fuel consumption by 13pcThursday August 11 2022
The high cost of fuel and the race toward a green economy prompted Dickson Karuga to set up Supertech, a technology company that helps consumers such as drivers, and factories cut consumption by more than 10 percent.
In June 2022, for instance, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority increased pump prices by Sh9 per litre, pushing the cost of super and diesel to Sh159.13 and Sh140, respectively in Nairobi-the highest in Kenya's history.
Mr Karuga’s fuel-saving gadget aims to help users save on costs of petrol, diesel, and kerosene.
“Hunter Supertech Optimiser is a solid immersion device that works inside the tank of hydrocarbon traction cars (those that use diesel and gasoline),” he says during an interview with the Business Daily.
“This device does not interfere with any vehicle system,” the 49-year- old says, adding that the device reduces gas emissions by up to 80 percent, saves fuel consumption by up to 13 percent, and increases engine performance by optimising engine combustion.
Mr Karuga brought the fuel-saving technology to Kenya three years ago. He imports the gadget from Italy, adding that the product’s efficacy was tested in Kenya before it was rolled out to the public.
So far, together with partners, they have invested Sh47 million in research, assembling equipment and machinery imports for carrying gas analysis, and smoke opacity testing.
He is targeting motorcyclists, prime movers, trains, and ships.
“Any hydrocarbon fuel-based engine is our target market. That is any motorised unit using petrol (gasoline), diesel and gas. Our market also includes fuel-based generators and furnaces.”
The gadget, which has been installed by more than 400 customers in the Kenyan market ranges from Sh14,500 and Sh40,000.
Among the customers include Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya Tea Development Agency, Farmer’s Choice, Busy Bee, Eden Tea, Njeki Traders, Aldakk Logistics, and EastMatt Supermarkets. Others are Africa Horizon Tours, and Galaxy Shuttle.
“We have over 100 other big companies that have completed the test stages with great results and now await placing their order,” he adds.
The University of Nairobi Electric and Electronic Engineering graduate learnt emission control and combustion from Dr Luigi Solemi, an Italian friend.
Currently, the firm has employed 15 people with an additional 225 regional agents. “We have agents across Kenya as well as selling the products directly. We also carry our exhibition works and participate in climate change-related forums,” he says.
The gadget is installed inside the fuel tank of a vehicle, motorbike, or fuel generator.
“One must access the top cover of the tank and open it to install the gadget. This is done preferably at an angle of 45 to 55 degrees to the base of the tank. This allows for maximum efficacy of the units,” he says, adding that all materials and units are imported from Italy.
But, they plan to set up a factory in Kenya to produce the gadgets in the next three years once the uptake improves.
The company also offers fuel-tracking solutions to help truck owners monitor consumption as well as prevent theft.
Fuel theft from petroleum tankers in transit or during border delays is an extremely significant problem for many transporters. The Hunter Real Time gadgets track the oil usage in real-time plus measures emissions.
Entrepreneurship, Mr Karuga says, has taught him patience and to be industrious.
“We deal with a lot of skeptics whom we must prove that the unit works. We also must keep reading to keep up with any new and emerging technologies which in turns enables us to have accurate answers to questions asked across the field,” he told Enterprise.