We knew Embakasi gas plant would explode - RUTO’s government refuses to take the blame as it justifies its action after the deadly gas explosion

Friday, February 2, 2024 – The Government of President William Ruto, through the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), has denied granting a license to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage and filling plant at the centre of the explosion incident at the Mradi area in Embakasi on Thursday night. 

In a statement, EPRA explained that it rejected three applications for construction permits as the owners did not meet the criteria for managing an LPG plant. 

According to EPRA, the rejection was due to the proximity to the residential areas stipulated in its regulations. 

Here is the full statement: 

At approximately 1130hrs on Thursday 1st February 2024, an LPG explosion occurred at the Mradi area in Embakasi, Nairobi County.

We are saddened by the loss of life and injuries that have occurred. As the sector regulator, the safety and well-being of the public is our priority.
Regarding this incident, we wish to state the following:

Applications for construction permits for a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage and filling plant at the site were received by EPRA on 19th March 2023, 20th June 2023, and 31 July 2023. All applications were rejected as they did not meet the set criteria for an LPG storage and filling plant in that area.

The main reason for the rejection was the failure of the designs to meet the safety distances stipulated in the Kenya Standard. EPRA noted the high population density around the proposed site and the applicant was requested to submit a Qualitative Risk Assessment clearly indicating the radiation blast profiles in the unfortunate case of an explosion like the one that happened yesterday.

The blast profiles are simulated using computer software and indicate the effect of a typical blast in terms of heat radiation and tremor/vibration and are useful in reviewing the safety of the surrounding areas.

The applicant never provided the requested QRA resulting in the rejection of the applications. Email correspondences providing reasons for the rejection were sent to the applicant.

As the regulator, we have formulated short and medium-term measures to ensure the safety of all LPG plants in the country is guaranteed. This is through actions such as undertaking detailed technical audits of all licensed LPG plants in the country to ensure high safety integrity status in terms of Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE).

Administrative actions are always taken to ensure that operating licenses for all plants rated below the high safety integrity status are revoked.
In addition, surveillance and enforcement actions are taken including demolishing illegal plants operating across the country and curbing malpractice in the sector.


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