An independent inspector is set to start carrying out safety tests on mini gas cylinders for less previledged families as part of government efforts to revive the stalled Sh3 billion project.
Officials said the distribution of the 6kg Gas Yetu cylinders to poor families will commence on Monday.
The Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) had filed a suit and the High Court in 2018 suspended the release of suspected faulty gas cylinders to kenyans pending hearing of the case.
An independent examination of the cylinders currently at the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (Nock) warehouses is a precondition for Cofek to withdraw its court case.
“The exercise by a third party cylinder inspector to independently test the cylinders and confirm the integrity and safety of the same ahead of distribution to Mwananchi starts on Monday, May 25, 2020,” Nock chief executive Leparan Gideon Morintat told Senate Energy Committee.
Morintat said the court case has been dropped after certain conditions were met. The conditions included bringing on board the third party cylinder inspector.
National Treasury has allocated Sh3 billion for purchase of the cylinders that will be sold at a subsidised price of Sh2,000 with complete accessories under the Gas Yetu brand.
The project aims to wean poor households from the use of dirty wood fuel and kerosene. Upto 109,649 six-kilogramme cylinders, 329,422 burners and 329,260 grills have been lying idle in Nock’s warehouses since the distribution was halted two years ago.
The project was halted after it emerged that fraudulent contractors supplied over 67,000 faulty gas cylinders and scuttled the government’s plan to provide poor homes with affordable cooking fuel.
It was discovered that more than a third of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders supplied to the Nock were of sub-standard quality and also had faulty valves that posed a serious danger of fire eruptions.
In the Sh3 billion State plan, dubbed the Mwananchi Gas Project, the households were to receive 6kg cooking gas cylinders and burners at a discounted price of Sh2,000.
The 6kg gas cylinder with cooking accessories retails at about Sh5,000.
Nock report says that the State oil marketer procured 357,355 cylinders of 6kg-cooking-gas in the 2017/18 financial year and supplied 200,257.
Of these, 139,946 which represents 70% were inspected with 80,839 cylinders were accepted for circulation while 59,107 cylinders were rejected for being defective and of low quality.