DAR ES SALAAM, June 25 — Tanzanian President John Magufuli has invited investors in production of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to be used as an alternative cooking energy and save the country from cutting of trees, a statement said on Tuesday.
The statement by the Directorate of Presidential Communication at State House said President Magufuli made the invitation at the launch of an LPG processing plant and warehouse in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
Magufuli urged Taifa Gas Tanzania, the LPG processing plant owned by indigenous Tanzanians, to ensure that it spreads distribution of LPG to rural areas to reduce the use of fuel wood which was detrimental to the country’s forests.
He said he was delighted to learn that LPG production by private investors in the east African nation has increased from 17,000 tonnes annually in 2015 to 92,500 tonnes annually in 2019.
Medard Kalemani, the Minister for Energy, said at least 2.5 million Tanzanians were currently using LPG as cooking energy.Kalemani said more companies have invested in LPG in the country leading to competition among suppliers, adding that, as a result, Tanzanian LPG was cheaper compared to Kenya and Uganda.
He said a kilogram of LPG was currently sold at 3,080 Tanzanian shillings (about 1.34 U.S. dollars) compared to 3,500 shillings and 4,100 shillings in Kenya and Uganda, respectively.He said the number of users of LPG continued to rise in the country.
“In 2015, there was only one supplier of LPG in the country, but we currently have eight of them. This made it easier to consumers in accessing the source of energy at a cheap price,” said Kalemani.
Hamis Ramadhani, the Executive Director of Taifa Gas Ltd, assured President Magufuli that LPG will be affordable to all Tanzanians as cooking energy.
“Any Tanzanian who can afford charcoal can also use LPG as cooking energy. Users of charcoal spend up 100,000 shillings a month while LPG users can spend only up to 50, 000 shillings a month,” he said.LPG market was growing at a rate of 25 percent but Taifa Gas Ltd was positive to increase the growth rate of 50 percent in the near future, said Ramadhani.
“With the investment we have, it is just a matter of time that Tanzanians will forget using charcoal and firewood as cooking energies and switch to LPG use,” said Ramadhani.