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BOC eyes piped gas to homes in revenue drive

A construction site in Nairobi
A construction site in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Industrial gas manufacturer BOC Kenya says it is considering supplying homes with piped cooking gas in a race to grow and diversify its revenues.

While BOC is yet to firm up its plans, it says it sees piped gas to Kenyan homes “as the next big thing,” in the industry.

The firm also wants to create solutions for agriculture and water treatment. It manufactures and markets industrial and medical gases.

“We see a lot of opportunity in LPG reticulation. We also see opportunities around water treatment, use of nitrogen for food packaging as well as agriculture,” said BOC Kenya managing director Marion Mwangi at an investor briefing last week.

She said, adding that the firm was engaging architects on how to roll out the programme.

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NSE- listed BOC reported a 66.8 percent drop in net profit to Sh19 million in the half year ended June.

It attributed the drop to higher costs. Its six-month revenue was up by 1.65 percent to Sh495.1 million compared to the same period in 2018. Ms Mwangi said rise in costs was caused by outage of a key raw material (calcium carbide) and unscheduled plant down time, which impacted availability and cost of finished goods. “These results were also impacted by reduced supply to some public sector customers due to long overdue debts and lost sales as a result of the illegal filling of the company’s cylinders,” Ms Mwangi added.

BOC Kenya is the second to mull a piped gas plan, after state owned oil marketer National Oil which recently inked a deal to supply homes in a Nairobi estate owned by the National Housing Corporation by December.

The tripartite deal between National Oil and CFAO Kenya Limited (a Toyota Tshusho Group Company) and NHC will see NHC’s 75 residential apartments located in Nairobi’s South B estate equipped with piped gas.

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