LPG gas uptake on the rise, growth rate slows

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ZIMBABWE Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) LPG gas uptake in the 10 months to October 2017 increased 53% to 2,9 million kg comparable same period last year on the back of increased uptake, but year-on-year growth rate has significantly slowed down.

By Melody Chikono

According to figures from the Authority LP gas uptake stood at 1,9 million kg in October 2016, 90% up from one million kg in January same year, while in 2017, uptake is 11,5 % up from 2,6 million kg figure of January 2017 translating to a 78,5% year on year drop.

Zera is targeting a 20% annual increase in LPG gas usage driven by government awareness support and perception shift by consumers.

In excess of 104MW of electricity is excepted to be saved if consumers switch to gas for cooking and heating, and a US$7,50 budget for a family of four will suffice for cooking and heating for a month.

Zera chief executive Gloria Magombo told businessdigest that there are indications that the trend averaging 50% of LP gas imports will continue. “As illustrated, an average 50% increase in imports (suggesting increased uptake) has been maintained since the beginning of the year. Indications are that the trend will continue,” she said.

She added that an increasing number of consumers are adopting LP gas as alternative energy for cooking, while appreciating its efficiency.

“It is anticipated that more consumers will adopt LP gas and help ease pressure on the grid and reduce the use of wood fuel,” she said.

The authority is putting in place initiatives to encourage usage in LP gas in Zimbabwe and is, in conjunction with Standards Association of Zimbabwe and other stakeholders, spearheading the development of LPG appliances and equipment to be published in 2017.

“Zera will continue with awareness on safe use and also on new technologies such as LP gas heating,” Magombo said.
To date zera has issued 106 licences fro LPG operators valid until 2017. A total of 91 of them have been issued to retailers, while 51 are for wholesalers. The regulator has also been lobbying government to slash the import duty on liquefied petroleum gas to promote use of the cheaper energy source. Gas imports currently attract five percent duty and a 15% value added tax.

Per capita consumption averages below 2kg/year compared to other countries which are averaging 10kg/year.

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