Home Energy Energy Regulator Steps Up Clampdown On Illegal LPG Trade

Energy Regulator Steps Up Clampdown On Illegal LPG Trade

32 LPG refill facilities shut with some having their LPG license suspended.

by Brian Yatich

A nationwide clampdown on illegal LPG refilling plants has recovered 26,000 cylinders in the past three years that compliant brand owners blame for losses of Ksh1.2 billion yearly.

The losses stem from the inability of licensed brand owners to benefit from their investments in manufacturing cylinders, marketing their brands through advertisements and loss of business as LPG cylinders released to the market are hardly returned for refilling.

The operation conducted between June 2023 and June 2024 by a multi-agency team led by the Electricity and Petroleum Regulatory Authority(EPRA)  in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, and Eldoret saw 32 LPG refill facilities shut with some having their LPG license suspended.

Mr Daneil Kiptoo, Director General, EPRA said the impounded cylinders will be returned to brand owners to help increase the quantity of genuinely refilled LPG cylinders in the market. The first batch of 6,000 LPG cylinders has been returned to brand owners.

The decision comes days after a multi-agency team comprising EPRA staff, and other government regulatory and enforcement agencies raided a home at Utidhini Area in Machakos County, where an illegal refilling plant was closed down. The multi-agency team impounded an LPG tanker, LPG refill equipment and an unassorted number of empty LPG cylinders lined up for refilling.

The raid also seized a mini-lorry loaded with refilled LPG cylinders ready for distribution to the market. Four people found at the premises have been arraigned before court to answer criminal charges of operating an illegal LPG cylinder refill plant. EPRA warned that any offending facility will see their LPG refill equipment impounded and LPG refill licences revoked.

According to the energy (liquefied petroleum gas) regulations, 2009, it is prohibited to refill, rebrand, deface, or submit LPG cylinders belonging to another brand for maintenance and every LPG refill business must possess their own registered brand of at least 5,000 LPG cylinders or possess a written agreement allowing them to conduct refill business using the branded LPG cylinders from registered brand owners.

EPRA’s latest Biannual Statistics  Report shows tax waivers on LPG fuelled LPG consumption by eight percent to stand at 360,594 metric tons. The use of LPG is set for triple-fold growth as the government implements the LPG Reticulation Project, which aims to install LPG reticulation kits in 5,000 public schools by the end of the year.

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