A new report by the Tanzanian Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) shows that the Liquefied Petroleum gas (LPG) market in Tanzania made a double-digit growth in 2019.
The LPG business segment grew by 16% last year, and the growth is partly attributed to increased imports and investment in storage and refilling plants. The success recorded has been made possible by the government, through the sector’s regulator, creating public awareness campaigns on the benefits of using the environmentally friendly energy source and dumping the old traditional methods of firewood etc.
In 2019, 166,436 Metric tonnes of LPG were imported, compared to 142,939 Metric tonnes of LPG imported in 2018. The report which was partly released last week showed that about 65% of the imports was for the domestic market while the other 35% was sent to neighbouring countries, of which 70% went to Kenya.
The report stated that as at December 2019, the number of operational petrol stations in the country had grown by 9.32% from 1,460 in the previous year to 1,596. However, most of the petrol stations are located in the urban areas upon the fact that there is an increasing demand of petroleum products in the rural areas.
The security of the supply of petroleum products continued to be maintained as Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) had petroleum stock sufficient to cater the country’s requirements for more than 20 days, which is above the 15 days stipulated in the Petroleum General Regulations. 6.1 billion litres of petroleum products (diesel, petrol, kerosene, Jet A1 and HFO) were imported in 2019, a 7% increase compared to the amount imported in 2018.
57% of the imported products were for local consumption while the remaining were exported to neighbouring countries including Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Malawi and Burundi. The imported volume for domestic use was an 8.4% increase of 3.5 billion litres compared to 3.2 billion litres imported in 2018. This increase is attributed to the ongoing projects in the country including the construction of roads, Standard Gauge Railway and Mwalimu Nyerere Hydro Power. Fuel was also highly needed in the agricultural sector for farming activities due to a favourable rainy season.
The report said, “An increase in the number of petrol stations is attributed to increased demand of petroleum products, growth in economic activities and increased road networks.”
Commenting on the report to The Citizen, the Authority’s Director of Petroleum Division, Gerald Maganga said, “LPG suppliers should put more effort into developing their distribution networks to cater for low-income earners so that they can afford and access the use of LPG.”
“For this reason, the Petroleum (Retail Operations in Townships and Villages) Rules 2017 will continue to be applicable where the requirements for constructing a petrol station in rural areas have been lessened to reduce investment costs while observing the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) requirements.”