LPG petroleum usage to reach 65 million kgs by year end
Nelson Gahadza Senior Business Reporter
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) says usage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is expected to reach 65 million kg by the end of this year as uptake of the commodity mainly used for heating and producing petrochemicals continues to grow.
ZERA chief executive Mr Eddington Mazambani said over the past 10 years, the authority adopted a strategy to encourage the use of LPG as an alternative source of energy for domestic purposes.
“We have seen growth in uptake of LPG gas from five million kg in 2013 to the current 60 million kg, and we are targeting to hit 65 million kg by the end of 2023.
“Heating and cooking constitute 60 percent of household energy use, and increasing LPG usage will result in electricity savings,” he said in an interview. The uptake of LPG has been on the increase due to consumers’ awareness of the need to use cleaner energy.
Consumers have also realized the benefits of using LPG as an alternative source of energy as part of managing their electricity bills. LPG is a cleaner form of energy mainly for heating and cooking compared to 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 levels and this has also helped to increase the uptake of the product.
“So we had to demystify and encourage the use of LPG as a good source of energy. We further encouraged players and installers at the commercial and household level to go through training focusing on safety issues,” said Mr Mazambani.
The liquid petroleum gas industry remained an open market without price regulations until August 2020, when the authority, through Section 54 of the Petroleum Act as refined by Statutory 90 of 2021, was empowered to regulate the industry.
With LPG demand continue surging, Zimbabwe is investing in strategic storage facilities in a bid to ensure uninterrupted supplies. LPG price for September 2023 is $7,414.68/kg, or US$1.60.
As of August 2023, ZERA had 465 licensed LPG players.