THE demand for liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in Zimbabwe has risen by 69% to 27 million kg per month in September 2017, compared to the same period last year due to the ready availability of the energy source, the industry body has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In its industry update, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) said there has been an increase in the use of LP Gas, particularly in domestic and industrial over the past few years.
“This has resulted in increased LPG vendors operating illegally without licenses. In September 2016 demand had risen to 16 million kg. This has risen further in September 2017 to 27 million kg,” CZI said.
“Some companies in the agro-processing sectors who provide domestic electricity to their workers are now moving them to LPG.”
In its 2014 annual report, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) indicated that a total of 9 138 tonnes of gas was used in 2014 compared to 4 227 tonnes of gas used in 2010, giving a 100% increase in LPG consumption.
Zera attributed this to the emergence of small-scale retailers.
Meanwhile, CZI said the gold miners have been offered a deal that would see their electricity cost reduced by as much as 32%.
“The Chamber of Mines highlighted on their engagement with Zesa regarding the power reductions to gold mines where for the mine to qualify for this deal, it should clear its arrears within 12 months and be able to make 40%,” the industry body said.
“Negotiations are to continue as the clearance of arrears within 12 months will prove to be a major challenge.”
CZI said power outages during the rainy season was highlighted as affecting operations and encouraged Zesa to maintain networks and electrical structures.
“Several regulations and codes have been promulgated by Zera and CZI will give a complete update on these in the next update.”