Traders selling bottled biogas illegally – ERC

Traders selling
bottled biogas
illegally – ERC
Can YOU outsmart
the expert?
Photo/ FILE
GREEN ENERGY: Kentainer projects manager Paul Madoc explains how a portable biogas system
works when it was unveiled in Nakuru on March 28, 2014. Biogas cylinders are not licensed locally.
THE Energy Regulatory Commission has not licensed any
of the bottled biogas products
which are in the market, it has
ERC said those packaging
biogas in cylinders are doing
so illegally and putting consumers at risk because some of
the fuel’s contents are highly
explosive hence pose a lot of
danger if not well handled.
“The people bottling biogas
need to get safety approval
first,” ERC director of renewable energy, Robert Oimeke
told the star.
“For you to compress biogas
in a cylinder you need to purify
it to get 97 per cent methane
gas but the people who are
packaging it are not able to
achieve this. So those cylinders
could be very dangerous and
we do not encourage consumers to buy them.”
The right technology for
cleaning biogas for bottling,
he said, is very expensive and
its currently only available in
China and India.
Biogas in the conventional
gas cylinder has already gone
commercial in some parts of
Kenya. Those in business are
refilling a six-kilogram cylinder for Sh700. Refilling a similar sized cylinder for LPG costs
an average Sh1,000.
State-run Kenya Industrial
Research and Development Institute said it is exploring safe
ways of compressing biogas in
cylinders. If the trials achieve
a successful concept, KIRDI
said, it will be possible to commercialise the biogas produced
at the Keekonyokie slaughterhouse in Kajiado County.
“Biogas is already in use domestically but commercial production is still at the proof of
concept stage,” lead researcher,
Erastus Gatebe said.
He said the people who have
commercialised biogas lack a
way of measuring its chemical contents adding that only
KIRDI and ERC have the analyzing equipment.
“Entrepreneurs should not
bring bottled biogas to the
market before getting proper
certification,” he said.
Genghis Capital power and
gas specialist, Florence Kimaiyo said biogas despite being
cheap and better in combustion, will require massive input
by stakeholders in order to
achieve success in the energy
sector market.
“Proliferation of Biogas into
LPG market share will largely
depend on consumer awareness and education undertaken
by distributors of the same to
the low-income and middleclass households,” she said.
Biogas is produced from
animal and agricultural waste
such as cowdung and manure.
Bolloré Africa wins wind power plant contract
BOLLORÉ Africa Logistics
has won a lucrative contract
to provide services to Bluesea
Energy which is currently setting up a 40 Megawatt wind
power plant in Meru.
Bluesea Energy whose
core business is in renewable
power has tapped the services of Bolloré to transport 27
massive wind turbines from
the port of Mombasa to
Ntubiri in Meru. This comes
after the company obtained a
power generation licence last
year, setting the stage for the
start of the project.
Bolloré’s East Africa region
CEO, Jason Reynard said:
“We have been partners of
similar industrial projects
in Eastern Africa in the last
decade and rest assured that
your investment is in capable
Monday, February 2, 2015
The turbines are extraordinary in dimension and
require specialised vehicles
and equipment.
The turbine’s tower
measures 4.6m in diameter,
its nacelle, which houses the
generating components of
the turbine, weighs 52 tonnes
while a single blade is 23.2m
long. The project is expected
to commence this month.
ne of my tried and
trusted ‘proxy’ economic indicators is the traffic. I have had to leave
earlier and earlier from
Windsor in Kiambu every morning as the traffic volume spikes
higher. Consider what happens if
the price of super petrol now at
Sh92 and change falls to Sh60 a
litre, which is where it should be
now. Crude oil in New York spiked
+6.75% higher Friday to close at
$48.24 but this same contract was
above a $100 a barrel in June 2014.
My more constructive outlook for
Kenya in 2015 (and bear in mind
we are having to hurdle a very soft
tourism sector] is informed by this
fall in the price of fuel, which will
produce a seriously meaningful
‘’grass-roots’’ stimulus as 41million Kenyans experience the boost
of having some spending power
this year. In fact, while you cannot
eat GDP you can ‘eat’ a lower fuel
price. President Reagan spoke of
‘’trickledown’’ economics, many
years ago. As I spot more and more
Peugeot 504s on the road, I am in
fact watching ‘’trickledown’’ I am
not optimistic about my commute.
If you model the Kenyan economy
like I do, You will note the economy
outperforms under these conditions as it did in 2006 and 2007.
The appointment of Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe (who
turns 91 in February - and consider
that the median average in Sub
Saharan Africa is about 18.6, therefore 91/18.6 = 4.89 times which is
surely a factor that is so extreme
its off the charts] as chairman of
the African Union caught my attention as it did catch the attention of
everyone on social media (social
media allows me to measure the
real time pulse) especially as he
had to be jogged awake. President
Mugabe made a typical ‘fire-brand’
speech vowing to protect the continent’s resources from “imperialists and colonialists.”
Mugabe thanked God for recent
oil finds in Africa that the “blind
eyes of colonialists could not see.”
“African resources should belong
to Africa and to no one else, except
to those we invite as friends,” Mugabe said. “Friends we shall have,
yes, but imperialists and colonial-
ists no more. Africa is for Africans.”
And I thought to myself;
Mr.African Union president you are
missing the point entirely and a little like President Putin missed the
point as the 21st century oil warfare specialist Barack Obama took
Russia and the ruble to the cleaners. The word clueless springs to
mind and let me explain why. For
at least three years through June
2014, the price of Nymex crude oil
averaged between $90 and $100
Nigeria, Angola, South Sudan and
all the oil producing economies
had an opportunity to lock in those
prices on a forward basis at $90plus for a number of years.
I am of the opinion that not one
African country did this. Its absolutely frightful risk management. And
that is the point. In an increasingly
sophisticated and complex financial
World, the folks charged with managing our precious resources, they
have failed at the very first hurdle
and chatter about ‘’imperialist and
colonialists’’ is just a smokescreen.
Vladimir Putin was always the target of this oil warfare but so where
the peripherals. The shale boys in
North America are still standing and
only because they hedged.
Bloomberg headlined a story
‘’Africa oil boom on hold’’ last
week. Its worth reading because
it re-affirms what the share price
action of the explorers is telling us.
Tullow Oil PLC has slumped -53.08
per cent over the last 12 months,
Africa Oil -70.92 per cent, and
Afren -96.43 per cent (which Fitch
Ratings yesterday saying that “default is imminent.”) over the same
period. If these shares were listed
at the Securities Exchange, they
would be the worst three performing shares bar none.
East African oil exploration has
actually buckled.
‘’For Africa to revive the momentum of its oil and gas industry,
governments need to look at the
terms they offer explorers and
adapt them to reflect lower prices’’
Tullow chief executive officer Aidan
Heavey said.
The open question is when these
governments will do this and hopefully before what has happened to
Afren ‘’default is imminent’’ happens to the entire sector.
Shares go up and down and readers are advised that this column represents Mr
Satchu’s personal opinions.