Officials from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) on Wednesday, September 6, discovered an illegal gas refilling plant in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, within Makadara Sub-County.
In a statement on Thursday, the regulatory body stated that they discovered the plant during a raid targeting various places in Nairobi.
In collaboration with police officers from the Energy Police Unit, the EPRA officials arrested the plant’s owner and impounded the illegally refilled cylinders.
The gas cylinders impounded include some from popular brands among Kenyans, raising concerns over the safety of gas cylinders in the country.
“EPRA in collaboration with the Energy Police Unit yesterday 6th September 2023 conducted raids at locations in Industrial Area, Enterprise Road, Makadara sub-county including Alpha Gas Ltd,” the statement read in part.
EPRA takes lega action
The owner, whose name was not disclosed, will be arraigned in court to face charges including refilling a cylinder that is defaced, tampered with, or bears illegible writings.
In addition, the suspect will be charged for refilling a cylinder that is due for repair and requalification.
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The Petroleum Act which governs operations in the energy and petroleum sector also prohibits any entity or person from refilling a branded cylinder without prior consent from the brand’s owner.
As such, the suspect will also answer the charge of refilling without the consent of the brands impounded.
What’s more, the regulator urged members of the public to maintain vigilance and report such malpractices.
This, however, is not the first case where authorities have impounded illegal filling plants.
Earlier in the week, EPRA announced the closure of an LPG gas plant along Mombasa Road after establishing that it was operating contrary to the set regulations.
Among the regulations flouted by the company, according to regulator included refilling cylinders from well-known brands in the country without their consent.
Additionally, officers unearthed gas cylinders stored in an underground tank hence raising suspicion of the motive behind the storage system.
According to the agency regulations, violation of the set regulations attracts stiff penalties which include a fine of up to Ksh 10 million, a jail term or both in some instances.
Both LPG dealers and retailers are required to apply for permits from the energy regulator and comply with the set safety standards.