Gas us­age up 182pc

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Harare Bureau

ZIMBABWE has ex­pe­ri­enced a sig­nif­i­cant rise in con­sump­tion of liq­ue­fied pe­tro­leum gas in the past three years as house­holds opt for cheaper al­ter­na­tive heat­ing en­ergy.

LPG us­age rose by 182 per­cent in 2012 from 6,6 mil­lion kilo­grammes to 18,6 mil­lion kilo­grammes in the nine months to Septem­ber this year, data from Zimbabwe En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity shows.

Most house­holds are now us­ing gas for cook­ing and heat­ing as an al­ter­na­tive to elec­tric­ity and wood.

“The up­take of LPG has been on the in­crease due to con­sumers’ aware­ness of the need to con­serve power which has been in short sup­ply in 2014/2015,” said Zera in a state­ment.

“Con­sumers have also re­alised the ben­e­fits of us­ing LPG as an al­ter­na­tive source of en­ergy as part of manag­ing their en­ergy bills.”

LPG is a cleaner form of en­ergy mainly for heat­ing and cook­ing com­pared to kerosene and wood fuel. The use of LPG con­trib­utes to a re­duc­tion in the use of wood fuel and lessens pres­sures on the national elec­tric­ity grid.

Zera has been rolling out aware­ness cam­paigns on the safe use of LPG at both re­tail and house­hold level and this has also helped to in­crease the up­take of the prod­uct.

Mean­while, Zimbabwe is work­ing on an en­ergy pro­cure­ment frame­work which will make it manda­tory for com­pet­i­tive bid­ding for In­de­pen­dent Power Pro­duc­ers’ pro­cure­ment.

The pro­cure­ment mech­a­nism is ex­pected to be pro­vided for in the IPP pol­icy cur­rently un­der dis­cus­sion.

Lack of laid down pro­cure­ment of IPPs into the en­ergy mix has in the past raised eye­brows with al­le­ga­tions of un­fair busi­ness

En­gi­neer Glo­ria Magombo

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