REDAN Gas (Pvt) Limited says there is adequate supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the country despite prospects of rising demand due to intensified load-shedding by power utility Zesa.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Load-shedding has resurfaced putting pressure on alternative sources of energy.
Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, Redan Gas director Paul Bowen said the gas available was dependent on South Africa.
“At the moment, there is adequate supply of gas. The supply of LPG in Zimbabwe is dependent on the South African refineries as well as imported stock that is shipped to Mozambique and transported by road in Zimbabwe,” Bowen said.
“If there are problems at the refineries in South Africa or their local market is using all available supplies, then suppliers usually import the product into South Africa to cover any shortages or into Mozambique if the product is destined for other countries (like Zimbabwe).”
He said suppliers hoped to have contingency plans to mitigate against the shortage of LPG in South Africa which would affect the local market like what happened last year.
Zimbabwe relies on neighbouring countries for LPG due to its failure to invest in the product.
LPG is used as a fuel in heating appliances, cooking equipment and vehicles. In Zimbabwe, it is mainly used for heating appliances and cooking equipment.
“We do not produce gas in Zimbabwe, but I think the focus should be on assisting people to get gas cylinders and stoves so that they are not reliant on Zesa for cooking, which will take pressure off the grid and potentially save many trees,” Bowen said.
“We generally prefer to get the LPG from South Africa if it is available, but we will procure from other sources if necessary.”
Globally, about two-thirds of the LPG used is extracted directly from the earth in the same way as ordinary natural gas. The rest is manufactured indirectly from petroleum (crude oil) drilled from the earth.
Statistics from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority show that in 2014, a total of 9 138 tonnes of gas was used compared to 4 227 tonnes in 2010.