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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Saudi Arabia to Finance Kenya’s Cooking Gas Plan in Exchange for Carbon Credits

Saudi Arabia will finance Kenya to acquire cooking gas cylinders in a deal that the government expects will significantly increase the number of people using cooking gas and reduce the environmental degradation associated with using firewood and charcoal.

Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) Director General Daniel Kiptoo stated that officials from both Kenya and Saudi Arabia are currently negotiating the details of the deal, with the project expected to be rolled out in July.

The government is developing an LPG strategy, a key component of which involves collaboration with Saudi Arabia, which has agreed to finance 8.4 million cylinders for Kenya.

In return, Saudi Arabia will have the right to purchase the carbon credits generated by transitioning Kenyan homes from using dirty fuels such as firewood, charcoal, and kerosene.

This move is expected to provide a significant boost to Kenya Kwanza’s strategy to expand the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the country, with plans to increase gas consumption to over one million tonnes over the next three years from the current 330,000 tonnes.

“The cylinders will be distributed to LPG marketers, including small and mid-sized players, who will also be required to invest in their own cylinders,” Kiptoo said as quoted by the Financial Standard.

The EPRA official explained that by enabling Kenyan households to access cylinders and consequently increase their use of cooking gas, the Saudi government anticipates that the transition to LPG from firewood, charcoal, and kerosene will generate carbon credits.

“About 70 percent of cooking in the country is done using biomass. There is an opportunity to transition people from biomass and fossil fuels to cleaner fuels such as LPG and eventually move towards other clean cooking initiatives such as bioethanol and electric cooking,” said Kiptoo.

“If you are able to demonstrate that you have transitioned someone who has been using firewood to LPG, there is an opportunity to generate carbon credits. The reason why entities like Saudi Aramco are willing to invest in LPG is that they are major producers of fossil fuels, which are among the biggest polluters. They want to demonstrate that they are taking positive action.”

Kiptoo added: “If you are able to transition someone from cutting trees, which are carbon sinks, and provide them with LPG, it is a beneficial initiative for them (Saudi Arabia). There is also an opportunity for them because they are already supplying LPG.”

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