The Liquefied Petroleum (LPG) Gas regulations that came into force two days ago outline tough requirements for cooking gas traders, prompting mass closure by retailers.
“A person who wishes to undertake liquefied petroleum gas business shall make an application for a licence to the Authority or its licensing agents in the prescribed manner…” reads one of the requirements.
Coming in the month of January when the demand for the commodity is high, many Kenyans may soon find empty shops and nowhere to buy affordable cooking gas.
“There are about ten letters that the regulator is asking from us and with the pressure from them requiring the letters is not something easy. This already is causing problems to some of us and the process requires much time.” Paul Kiragu, a cooking gas dealer in Baba Dogo in Nairobi told Metropol TV.
Last year in the month of August, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) published new regulations in local dailies stating that all LPG cylinders retailers including shops and supermarket outlets, wholesalers and transporters are required to acquire a licence from the authority for each business location and shall be specific to the authorised cylinder brands only.
The new regulations were passed by parliament in June last year with implementation starting on the 1st of January 2020.
Among the new regulations by the energy regulator is that Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinder traders must have permission from brand owners failure to which they will be fined Sh10 million ($100,000) or more, a term of imprisonment of five years of more or risks the withdrawal of their operating license.
Already Kenyans are restricted from exchanging their empty gas cylinders with a different brand.
EPRA says the regulations aim to curb unauthorized LPG cylinder filling and enhance consumer safety.