Tuesday, May 17, 2022

BERA calls for national standard for Gas

Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) has recommended the development of a national gas quality standard to ensure that the gas which is sourced from other markets other than South Africa, conforms to laid down quality parameters.

BERA has observed that quality of gas Botswana does not have a national standard to measure the quality of gas imported and consumed in the country.

According to BERA’s market study into the supply and distribution of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Botswana , the regulatory authority stated the need to develop a National Standard (Botswana Standard) on LPG quality specifications and that BERA should expand the existing petroleum testing laboratories capabilities to include testing for the quality of gas.

“The development of a national quality standard should be accompanied by the development of testing facilities and capabilities to enforce regulatory requirements relating to gas quality,” reads the report.

BERA’s study revealed that the market was dominated by two foreign owned companies, namely Afrox and Easigas with market shares of 35.47 percent and 33.94 percent, respectively. Added is that based on the study conducted by the CCA in 2016, both Afrox and Easigas had market shares of 45 percent each. However, these have now reduced by 9.53 percent and 11.06 percent for Afrox and Easigas, respectively. Also stated is that, Afrox remained the leading player in the local LPG market. Tswana Gas, the only company with majority citizen shareholding,.

“We recommend to allow cross-border movement of LPG cylinders only for companies and individuals with a valid BERA licence and provided they are the owners of such cylinders and also collaborate with BURS and the Botswana Police Service to enforce compliance on crossborder movement of LPG cylinder,” reads the report.

Regarding quantity of gas, stated is that most retailers did not have a measuring scale by which the cylinder could be weighed as a form of verification that indeed the gas sold to a customer is of the right amount. Added is that according to the feedback received from retailers, the most prevalent complaint from members of the public relates to under-filling of gas cylinders. Recommended in the study is that retailers are required to install or carry an apt measuring scales and weigh a cylinder that is sold to a consumer as a way of verifying the amount of gas in that cylinder.

BERA has also observed that there are no systems put in place to regulate the movement of gas cylinders across the border into neighbouring countries. Added is that this has resulted in increased theft and smuggling of cylinders into neighbouring countries. Stated is that this issue, if not addressed, will continue to affect the ability of local LPG companies to trade and this will ultimately compromise security of supply of the gas.

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