Cooking gas shortage looms in Tanzania imports ban

Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

The Ministry of Energy has banned imports of cooking gas through the Kenya-Tanzania border, raising the possibility of a shortage and surge in the price of the commodity.

Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau on Monday said traders will not be allowed to import gas imports via land borders in a week’s time.
The move, according to Mr Kamau, is meant to eliminate illegal cooking gas filling plants which have cropped up in various parts of the country posing safety and security risks.

“The Cabinet Secretary has written a letter to Energy Regulatory Commissions, Customs and Kenya Bureau of Standards and designated Mombasa as the only point of import for LPG. So if you want to play in this game, come and invest in Kenya, import through Mombasa and then we can now follow up who is supplying unlicensed dealers. But now this whole thing about Tanzania is a thing of the past,” Mr Kamau told a briefing for the oil marketing companies organised by Kenya Pipeline Company.

Mr Kamau later confirmed that the full implementation will begin before the end of the month, which implies this week.

The OMCs had complained of being undercut by the illegal gas refillers who take their cylinders, fill them and return them into the market.

The ban is, however, likely to catch the dealers who rely on the gas from Tanzania unawares as most of them denied knowledge of the plan.
Energy Dealers Association said it was yet to receive communication regarding the ban.