Daniel Kiptoo
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Epra finds 35pc of gas plants failed to meet standards

Epra Director-General Daniel Kiptoo during an event in November last year.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Some 34.7 percent of cooking gas storage and filling stations have failed to meet the required standards including those relating to safety, maintenance, risk management and emergency preparedness, posing a risk to people living near the facilities.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) has revealed that it conducted routine compliance tests on 18 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage and filling stations in the period between July and December 2023 but only 65.3 percent passed the tests.

“During the period under review, the Authority undertook 840 inspections on wholesale and retail sites which recorded a compliance level of 51.96 percent, 54 bulk LPG road tankers with a compliance level of 82.07 percent and 18 LPG storage and filling plants with a compliance level of 65.3 percent,” said Epra.

The energy regulator did not indicate the sanctions, if any, that were taken against the gas plants that were found in violation of the required standards.

The most common offense committed by LPG filling stations is usually refilling and trading gas cylinders belonging to other companies without a prior written consent.

But one of the most serious offenses is usually the operation of an LPG storage and refilling plant without a license.

Epra regularly publishes sanctions taken against fuel and cooking gas stations found violating various laws, including closing their facilities, cancellation of licenses as well as filing cases in court against culprits.

“The Authority is keen on improving compliance in the LPG sector through public education, awareness forums and enforcement measures,” it said.

The significant increase in the consumption of cooking gas over the last decade has led to a proliferation of thousands of gas filling stations across the country including in residential areas.

With a good number of these facilities failing to meet regulatory standards, it poses a major risk to nearby residents especially in case of an explosion.

The most recent high profile explosion occurred in February in Embakasi, resulting in the death of 10 people. The ensuing crackdown saw Epra close 49 unauthorised filling stations.