Adulterated gas: How illegal LPG refillers endanger lives

Unscrupulous traders are putting your lives at risk by engaging in illegal gas cylinder refilling, with adulterated gas that do not meet basic safety standards ending up in your kitchen.

This has led to the decision by the government to outlaw the exchange pool system where traders could trade cylinders.

Manufacturers of gas cylinders have complained of illegal refilling, resulting in their brands being tarnished by increased cases of explosions or under-filling.

For one to be a licenced distributor of LPG, they only need to prove to the regulator, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), that they have 5,000 cylinders.

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This translates to them supplying 840 kilogrammes of gas at most per day for small distributors. However, these traders, according to manufacturers, are doing as much as a million kilogrammes per month.

This has left the government wondering where these dealers are getting additional gas to refill their cylinders. One of the possible sources, it has been alleged, is Tanzania.

According to a source in the Energy Ministry, no testing is done in Tanzania, and with Kenya not having established any testing centres at the border between the two countries, there are fears that adulterated gas is making its way into the country.

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Kenya and Tanzania have found themselves in a diplomatic row after Nairobi banned LPG from Tanzania, citing safety issues, in July 2017.

The Energy Ministry had claimed the reason most LPG from Tanzania was adulterated was because it was transported by road through bulk trucks.

Tanzanian LPG companies export about 40,000 metric tonnes of LPG to Kenya annually, out of a total of 100,000 metric tonnes of the commodity imported into Tanzania.

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