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Kenya mulls reforms to boost uptake of clean energy   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya is considering a series of legal and regulatory reforms to boost the uptake of clean energy, a senior government official said on Thursday.

John Munyes, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, told a petroleum forum in Nairobi that a new draft legal notice will enhance regulations of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has been concluded.

“I am confident that the new regulations will be sufficiently robust to provide a legal and regulatory framework that will provide sufficient incentives for investment to flow to the LPG sector so that we can fully unlock access to cleaner, modern, safe and efficient household petroleum energy,” Munyes said.

In 2009, the east African nation enacted the Legal Notice 121, which introduced standardization of LPG cylinder sizes and valves, meaning that consumers could have their cylinders refilled at any licensed LPG dealers.

Munyes said that the regulations also created a thriving market for illegal LPG refillers who have not made any investments in the cylinders.

“We therefore want to ensure that only bona fide investors benefit from the LPG sector and lock out unscrupulous traders,” he said.

Government data indicates that the LPG penetration rate has reached 10 percent of households, against a target of 70 percent in the next five years.

Kenya is committed to increasing uptake of LPG so as to reduce dependence on kerosene, firewood and charcoal to help the country switch to greener sources of energy, Munyes said.

The government is also on course to construct an LPG common user import and storage facility at the port of Mombasa, which allows for the import of bulk LPG.

Other measures underway to promote cleaner energy include the provision of LPG bulk storage facilities in major cities to improve access to LPG.

Andrew Kamau, principal secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, said the petroleum energy sector is critical to Kenya’s economic development.

In the upstream segment of exploration and production, additional petroleum blocks have been created and gazetted to increase availability and access to oil and gas, he said.

John Mosonik, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, said the government is currently undertaking a number of petroleum infrastructure projects to enhance the availability of oil and gas products in Kenya and neighboring countries.

Some of the projects include replacement of oil pipelines, enhancement of storage capacity and investment in loading facilities with a view to creating a major petroleum logistics hub to boost regional trade, Mosonik said.



Regional energy experts set to meet in Kenya on sustained markets

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Energy experts from Eastern and Southern Africa including Indian Ocean region are set to meet in Nairobi from Monday to seek ways of enhancing energy market sustainability, organizers said on Saturday.

The four-day meeting organized by Africa’s largest trading bloc, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) will review progress on the implementation of the project’s first-year work program (2017-2018) and adopt the work plan and budget for the second year 2018-2019.

The meeting comes as five regional economic communities have begun implementing a new project on enhancing energy market sustainability.

The Enhancement of a Sustainable Energy Market in Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region (ESREM) is a 7 million euros project funded by the European Union.

“The overall objective of the project is to create a regional energy market that is conducive to investment and sustainable energy development,” COMESA said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

“ESREM is a 7 million euros project funded by the EU to address market governance and regulatory related challenges affecting the implementation of energy development projects in the region,” it said.

The project will run for four years since the signing of the grant delegation agreement with COMESA in May 2017.

Members of the Project Steering Committee that will meet in Nairobi comprise of energy experts from five participating regional economic communities (RECs) - COMESA, the East African Community (EAC,) Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).

Others are the regional associations of energy regulators, the Regional Power Pools, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Centres and the European Union Delegations to the three sub-regions.

According to the bloc, prior to the energy experts meeting, an awareness training for regional journalists and communication experts from the participating organizations will be conducted on Monday as part of the project’s communication and visibility strategy.

“Communication experts from the RECs, ministries of energy, energy associations and power pools will participate in the one-day training and visit a renewable energy project. Journalists from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi will also attend the training,” it said.

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