With industry insiders claiming the demand for gas in Uganda is raising so fast, Libya Oil Uganda Limited has initiated a move to set up a $2m Liquefied Petroleum Gas filling plant at Mukono and tap into the market.
They also note the plant will ease the burden of hunting for gas from outside the country whenever there is a shortage, as it has been on many occasions.
LOUL markets its LPG under the brand name MPISHI and is currently running a promotion where customers can get their gas cylinders at a subsidised price.
OiLibya marketing manager David Okonye says that they plan to supply Ugandans with LPG at a reduced cost. “Customers of even other brands will be able to fill at our plant, but the priority will be given to our esteemed customers,” said Mr Okonye.
More than 70 per cent of LPG cylinders used in Uganda are imported.
“This development will increase usage of cleaner, affordable and reliable energy among Ugandans thus protecting their environment,” said Mr Okonye.
At two kilogrammes in per capita consumption, Uganda lags behind Senegal (10 kilogrammes), Ivory Coast (nine), South Africa (six) and Ghana (five), the continent’s biggest users of LPG.
LP Gas way to go
The main sources of energy are still electricity and usage of firewood, especially in rural areas.
By reducing demand for wood and Charcoal and switching to LP Gas can reduce deforestation and free supplies of dung for use as fertilizers in the soils to enhance agricultural productivity.
On the health and safety aspect, LP Gas enjoys reduced airborne emissions, it has no virtually evaporative emissions since its stored and transported in sealed containers, a major problem with other liquid petroleum fuels such as Kerosene. It produces virtually no soot and burns clean.
The initial cost of purchasing appliances and cylinders are relatively sophisticated, technology, irregularity of supply, risk of explosion and limited awareness mean that, its not widely used in the majority of countries like Uganda, however in comparison to electricity the cost becomes cheaper in the longer run.