President Ruto to commission Rostam Aziz's cooking gas plant

The entry of Taifa Gas at a site in Dongo Kundu near the port of Mombasa is part of a trade deal between Kenya and Tanzania. FILE PHOTO | NMG

President William Ruto will Friday commission a multibillion-shilling cooking gas plant owned by a Tanzanian tycoon, a project that promises to bring competition in the sector and bring down consumer prices of the commodity.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) confirmed issuing the licence for the facility to be built by Taifa Gas, which billionaire businessman Rostam Aziz owns.

The facility will compete with Africa Gas and Oil Ltd (Agol), owned by Mombasa tycoon Mohamed Jaffer and is set to trigger price wars for handling and evacuating cooking gas from the ships to the mainland, allowing dealers to transfer the cost reliefs to consumers.

Taifa Gas is set to build a 30,000-tonne facility at the Special Economic Zone in Dongo Kundu, near the port of Mombasa. It was earlier estimated to cost $130 million (Sh16.25 billion). Agol, which is nearby, is a 25,000-tonne facility.

“Yes, we have already issued them the licence to build the plant. President William Ruto will grace the ground-breaking today,” Epra told Business Daily.

Construction of the Taifa Gas facility offers Kenya an opportunity to lower cooking gas costs in the absence of price controls.

LPG prices have hit new highs, with the 13-kilogramme container retailing at an average price of Sh3,266 in Nairobi, while the six-kilogramme one has crossed Sh2,000.

It is unclear what Agol charges oil firms for handling cooking gas, but the lack of other players in the business suggests a lack of significant competition that has kept the fees high.

Taifa Gas is Tanzania’s largest LPG supply company and has been feeding the Kenyan retail market via road.

Now, Mr Aziz is seeking a large share of Kenya’s LPG market.

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