ZERA projects 20 percent annual increase in gas use

ZERA projects 20 percent annual increase in gas use
Zera chief executive officer Engineer Gloria Magombo

Zera chief executive officer, Gloria Magombo

THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority(ZERA) says it is projecting a 20 percent annual increase in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) use, as consumer perceptions continue to shift.
Energy experts say the country could save 120 megawatts (MW), nearly a tenth of total current electricity generation, if its 600 000 domestic power consumers switch to gas for cooking and heating.
Zimbabwe’s current average power generation of about 1 200MW falls short of peak demand between 1 400MW and 2 000MW, often resulting in lengthy electricity cuts that have affected mines, industry, commercial activity and households.
Energy regulator ZERA expects LPG consumption to continue rising in line with a sharp increase from 5 million kilogrammes (kg) in 2012 to 25 million kg last year.
“We expect not less than a 20 percent annual increase in the foreseeable future,” ZERA petroleum engineer Andrew Guri said.
“If you look at the January and June figures, we have a 67 percent increase in LPG consumption, so I think in the medium to long term, we will still continue to see 10-20 percent progressive annual increases.”
Guri said Zimbabwe’s LPG market still has room for growth, as per capita consumption currently averages 2kg per year compared to other countries which are averaging 10kg per year.
“The outlook is very bright because from 2010 to 2016 we have recorded more than 400 percent increase in the use of LPG. Per capita consumption is still averaging around 2kg per person per year and is still very low compared to other counties where per capita consumption is 10kg per person per year. So there is potential to grow the industry,” he said.
ZERA is lobbying government to slash import duty on LPG, to promote use of the cheaper energy source.
Gas imports currently attract five percent duty and a 15 percent value added tax.
Zimbabwe has a total of 16 LPG wholesalers and 60 retailers licensed by ZERA.

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