Oil marketers lobby for clamp on adulterated cooking gas

By Caroline Njenga

Oil marketers are pushing for an increase of tax on kerosene to make it costlier to reduce cases of fuel adulteration as well as boost the uptake of cooking gas.

More than 50 percent of Kenyans use kerosene to light or cook as it is cheaper compared to other forms of energy such as electricity and cooking gas. To encourage more Kenyans to embrace environmentally sensitive forms of energy, the national treasury proposed distribution of cooking gas to 1.2 million households across the country by end of June this year.

Cooking gas business is however infiltrated by unscrupulous businessmen who have been refilling the cylinders. To address this, a committee drawing membership from stakeholders including consumers has been formed to regulate the LPG business.

ERC says fuel adulteration has now reached alarming levels in Kenya as a huge volume of kerosene imported is used to adulterate diesel and super petrol. The commission is rooting for a further increase in taxes on kerosene to compel consumers to abandon the cheap but unclean fuel for cooking gas.

Currently, Kenol Kobil has the biggest market share at 15 percent followed by Total at 12.9 percent and Vivo at 12.4 percent.