Government Boosts LPG Distribution with Sh10b

In a move to promote renewable and clean energy systems, the Ugandan government has announced an additional investment of sh10 billion in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Supply, Promotion, and Infrastructure Intervention Project. The project aims to distribute up to 200,000 LPG cylinders during the financial year 2023/24.

The government initially launched the initiative in July 2022, with the goal of distributing one million LPG cylinders and burners to Ugandans. The startup kit, which includes a 13 kg cylinder, regulator, horse pipe, and double plate cooker, is provided free of charge.

While Parliament recommended sh92 billion for project activities in the upcoming financial year, only sh10 billion was approved, as stated in the Budget Committee Report on the Annual Budget estimates for the year 2023/24.

Eng. Irene Bateebe, the Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary, emphasized the government’s commitment to minimizing the carbon footprint and ensuring environmental compliance. She explained that crude oil would be used to generate gas, which will then be bottled as LPG for cooking purposes and electricity generation. TotalEnergies will operate a gas turbine to ensure continuous production.

The objective of the project is to encourage people to transition from using firewood to cleaner energy sources for cooking. The high startup costs for using gas had been a barrier, prompting the government to intervene with a 5-year project estimated to cost $270 million (sh1 trillion).

Bateebe noted that the project has achieved significant success, with reports indicating that those who switch to using gas for cooking never revert to traditional methods. The government plans to expand the initiative nationwide, having already distributed 10,000 LPG cylinder kits to households in the Greater Kampala metropolitan area (GKMA), comprising Kampala, Mukono, and Wakiso districts.

John Friday, the Assistant Commissioner for Petroleum Supply in the Energy Ministry, highlighted the partnerships between the government and Total Uganda, Stabex International Uganda, and Vivo Energy Uganda for the distribution of gas cylinders. He revealed that the demand for cylinders had exceeded supply, and the project aims to distribute 200,000 kits each year for the duration of the 5-year initiative. Additionally, a national campaign is underway to raise awareness about the safety and benefits of cooking with gas, with a goal of persuading up to one million households to adopt cleaner cooking methods.

To obtain the startup kit, Ugandans need to acquire an application from their Local Council 1 (LC1) confirming their residency in a household and present the form to any participating household.

In other news, Members of Parliament (MPs) expressed concern over the persistent underfunding of the mineral development program, stating that it hinders development. The MPs called for an additional sh18 billion to be allocated to the mineral development program, a request that the government approved.

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