In response to recent gas-related tragedies, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has announced proactive measures aimed at preventing similar incidents in the future. These initiatives include close collaboration with security agencies to identify and shut down illegal LPG filling stations, among other strategic plans to enhance gas safety.

EPRA has revealed plans to work closely with security agencies, including the National Intelligence Service and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), to detect and dismantle illegal LPG filling stations. By appointing a National Intelligence liaison officer and engaging DCI officers, EPRA aims to track down criminals operating within the gas distribution sector, ensuring compliance with safety regulations.

Moreover, EPRA intends to strengthen its legal capacity by engaging the public prosecutor’s office to appoint its legal officers as prosecutors. This initiative seeks to expedite legal proceedings against violators of gas safety regulations, thereby ensuring swift justice and deterrence against non-compliance.

These proactive measures will be complemented by extensive public awareness campaigns on gas safety. EPRA recognizes the importance of educating the public about the risks associated with improper handling of LPG and the importance of adhering to safety protocols to prevent accidents.

EPRA’s commitment to preventing gas tragedies was highlighted in its submissions to Parliament’s Committee on Energy, which is currently investigating the gas explosion that occurred in Embakasi on February 1st, resulting in fatalities and injuries.

ADVERTISEMENT Furthermore, EPRA will enhance its LPG data verification process to ensure the safety of gas products throughout the supply chain, from importation to retail. This will involve rigorous monitoring and inspection of LPG facilities to uphold safety standards and prevent potential hazards.

EPRA’s investigation into the Embakasi gas explosion revealed critical insights into the regulatory lapses that contributed to the incident. The illegal LPG filling plant, owned by Derick Kimathi, had been denied licensing three times in 2023 due to safety concerns, including the lack of a Qualitative Risk Assessment (QRA). Despite this, the facility continued operations in a residential area, posing significant risks to the community.

Derick Kimathi, the owner of the illegal facility, also owns Maxxis Nanyuki Energy, a company licensed to transport petroleum products excluding LPG. The gas explosion resulted from a leaking gas tanker belonging to Klear Mwiki Gas Suppliers, which was authorized to transport LPG. As a result, EPRA has suspended the licenses of both entities to prevent further safety breaches.

Additionally, Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum Davis Chirchir revealed plans to shut down 138 LPG facilities nationwide that failed to meet safety standards. EPRA has already suspended 49 licenses of LPG plants situated within residential areas, emphasizing its commitment to prioritizing public safety above all else.

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