In February 2024, the explosion that occurred in the Mradi Area in Embakasi gained nationwide attention and raised questions over the number of companies dealing in illegal Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) operations across the country.
The incident, which claimed three lives and at least 280 people nursing injuries at various hospitals in Nairobi, led to Interior CS Kithure Kindiki launching a crackdown on all LPG dealers to crack the whip on illegal operations by unethical companies.
President William Ruto also ordered the government officials involved in granting the licence to the Embakasi-based gas filling plant to be dismissed, arrested and prosecuted over the incident.
This led to the dismissal of four National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) officials.
Aftermath of the Embakasi explosion incident which occurred on January 2, 2024.
Ministry of Interior
The Ministry of Energy is mandated to conduct audits across LPG dealers to authenticate the validity of their licences.
According to the Petroleum Act 2019, those caught either importing, exporting or transporting LPG without a valid licence are liable to a fine of not less than Ksh10 million or a two-year imprisonment.
Also, any individual importing LPG cylinders through undesignated routes attracts an additional fine of at least Ksh200,000.
Any business person found guilty of operating a non-licensed LPG facility such as refilling or rebranding cylinders without the brand owner’s consent risks a fine of not less than Ksh10 million.
The Act also provides that any person found guilty of reselling bulk LPG to another person to export or retail without a valid licence issued by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) will be liable to pay a fine not less than Ksh1 million.
Anyone found guilty of using a car to transport bulk LPG that does not possess a valid permit will also attract a fine of not less than Ksh1 million.
Further, any company that fails to display the original or certified copy of the permit at the operation’s premises will be liable to pay a fine of not less than Ksh1 million.
The Act also stipulates that any business that supplies bulk LPG to unlicensed companies attracts a fine of Ksh500,000 for each delivery made.
Additionally, companies engaging a driver to supply LPG in bulk without a valid certificate attract a fine of not less than Ksh250,000.
“Failure by the LPG licensee to comply with all the laid out obligations set by EPRA will attract a fine of not less than Ksh200,000 for each offence committed,” read part of the Act.
The Act also prescribes a 48-hour window to report any LPG-related accident, failure to which attracts a fine not less than Ksh200,000 for each offence committed for each accident not reported within the period.
EPRA Director General Daniel Kiptoo speaking during the official release of the Energy and Petroleum Statistics Report on December 15, 2023.