Kenya has floated a tender for the provision of camping and compact valves for its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders under the controversial cheap cooking gas programme.
State agency National Oil Corporation of Kenya (Nock) said bidders should supply samples of approved valves and fittings, which comprise a valve, rubber seals as well as caps to be used by the bidder to manufacture the valves.
The products should fit 13-kilogramme and six-kilogramme LP cylinders.
The Nock said it plans to award the tender within the next 150 days. “The cylinder valve shall be with a safety relief valve and the projected quantity required for the contract period is 50,000 pieces for six-kilogramme cylinders and 30,000 pieces for the 13-kilogramme cylinders,” it said.
The move follows last year’s government decision to enhance LPG usage by subsiding cost of cylinder and burner acquisition, especially for poor homes.
The plan suffered a major setback after contracted firms supplied 67,251 faulty gas cylinders.
A report on the multi-billion-shilling project revealed that more than a third of the LPG cylinders supplied to the Nock were sub-standard, including having faulty valves that posed the danger of fire eruptions.
Under the Sh3 billion plan dubbed the Mwananchi Gas Project, households were to receive 6-kg cooking gas cylinders and burners at a discounted price of Sh2,000.
The market price for a six-kilo gas cylinder with cooking accessories is about Sh5,000.
Four firms supplied the 67,251 cylinders rejected for poor quality. The gas cylinders were part of the 353,000 batch.
The tender in the first phase of the gas plan was valued at more than Sh700 million.
The cheaper cooking gas plan is aimed at filling in the gap arising from logging ban and an enhanced environment-friendly fuel alternative as well as entrench the use of the commodity among low-income households, especially urban dwellers who largely rely on kerosene and charcoal that are considered to be pollutants with health risks.
The Sh2 billion allocation for the year 2018/19 increased the subsidy scheme to Sh3 billion.