Tanzanian billionaire Rostam Aziz, through his liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supply company Taifa Gas, has officially initiated the construction of a Ksh300-billion ($1.9 billion) cooking gas plant and storage facilities at the Mombasa port.
The project, presently underway within the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone, signals a significant milestone for Taifa Gas as it expands its operations beyond Tanzania into the broader East African community.
Veneranda Masoum, the managing director of Taifa Gas SEZ Kenya, emphasized the impact the project aims to make on both the local and regional levels. “This venture marks a significant investment for Taifa Gas, extending our reach beyond Tanzania and into the wider East African community,” Masoum stated.
Kenyatta-Suluhu trade accord paves way for Aziz’s game-changing cooking gas plant in Mombasa
The construction of the LPG facility follows the approval granted by the Kenyan government to Aziz, allowing him to establish the cooking gas plant and storage facilities at the Mombasa port.
The move aligns with a trade agreement signed in April 2022 by former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu. The agreement aims to reduce the cost of handling and evacuating cooking gas from ships to the mainland, ultimately lowering cooking gas prices in Kenya.
The Taifa Gas facility is anticipated to employ innovative technologies in its supply chain, with a primary goal of reducing consumer prices. This development positions Aziz to compete with Mombasa-based tycoon Mohamed Jaffer, whose Africa Gas and Oil Ltd. currently handles 90 percent of the cooking gas imported for the Kenyan market.
Aziz’s entry signals major changes in East African cooking gas sector dynamics
The entry of Taifa Gas into the Kenyan market is expected to trigger fierce competition with established oil giants such as Vivo, Rubis, and Total, all vying for control of the more than 2.87 million households (or 23.9 percent of Kenyan households) dependent on cooking gas.
As Aziz ventures into the Kenyan cooking gas market, the East African region anticipates significant shifts in the dynamics of the cooking gas sector, with potential benefits for consumers and the broader economy.