The firm has sent an environmental impact assessment study report to Nema. [iStockphoto]

Tanzanian firm Taifa Gas Investment wants to construct a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) import and storage terminal in Mombasa, pointing to the dividends of improving Tanzania-Kenya trade relations.

The firm, which is the largest LPG supplier in Tanzania, has sent an environmental impact assessment study report to the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) for approval.

Nema issued a gazette notice last week asking the public for comments on the proposed project that will be situated at the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zones in Mombasa.

“The proposed plant is designed to store propane, butane and LPG mix of various grades for domestic, commercial and industrial use,” said Nema. The terminal project will have 12 LPG spheres, each with a capacity of 2,500 tonnes, adding up to 30,000 tonnes.

It will also have other facilities including one bullet tank of 200 tonnes, pump room, fire-fighting system, driveway and truck parking facilities, bulk loading area, ablution block, power control room and a weigh bridge.

Taifa’s entry into the Kenyan market promises a major change in the cooking gas supply chain that is dominated by a few firms that have been blamed for keeping the prices high.

In Tanzania, the company currently sells a fully-filled six-kilogramme gas cylinder, together with grill and burner at Tsh40,000 (Sh2,010). Such prices in Kenya could disrupt the current dealers.

Taifa Gas, formerly Mihan Gas, is one of the companies founded and controlled by billionaire Rostam Aziz, who was once the largest individual shareholder of mobile operator Vodacom’s operations in Tanzania.

Mr Aziz has interests in diverse sectors including mining, port services, agriculture, media and an extensive real estate portfolio spread out in Tanzania, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The firm has 35 plants and storage facilities in Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.

Its foray into Kenya comes on the back of negotiations through the East African Community Secretariat.

The issue was among the six things that Tanzania tabled in the negotiations held in Zanzibar in March, and the clearance points to the improving relations between Nairobi and Dar.

Other issues that were unlocked include the delay of clearance of goods due to scanning procedure, delays in issuance of import permits for dairy products exports and cumbersome procedures by the Kenya Revenue Authority.