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A solution for gas-related accidents

Tuesday November 12 2019

An LPG reticulation model showcased by National Oil during public participation in NHC building in south B Nairobi. PHOTO| POOL

 

MERCY CHELANGAT
By MERCY CHELANGAT
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Have you ever felt like your gas cylinder is occupying space that you could use for something else? You may also be tired of visiting gas agencies for refills or dialling a delivery especially if your gas runs out at night; or you are perhaps frustrated with the tendencies of middlemen to hike prices as well as altering the quantity and quality of gas in the cylinders.

In 2018, three people were injured in Nyeri after a gas cylinder exploded. In 2017, in an article by the Business Daily, a business man sued the state-owned national corporation of Kenya for compensation after his gas cylinder burst into flames. He survived with burns, and says the gas was unscented.

And if you have children, how often do you worry about your toddler turning on the gas cooker while playing? How often do you worry about your gas leaking and causing havoc?

Bulk gas storage of liquefied petroleum gas could be the new solution to preventing such cases that cause injuries and in extreme cases, death.

The tank holds up to 1000 kg of gas, which is delivered to your kitchen through a pipeline network, and your meter ensures that you are billed for the exact amount of gas that you have consumed.National Oil Corporation will supply the gas and periodically refill the tanks, whilst ensuring to monitor the gas levels so that you do not run out of gas.

If you live in a housing complex, or need gas
If you live in a housing complex, or need gas for your institution or school, an area will be identified near your house, and an underground tank constructed. GRAPHIC| COURTESY

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If you live in a housing complex, or need gas for your institution or school, an area will be identified near your house, and an underground tank constructed. What follows is the installation of the gas in the tank, a meter and firefighting equipment for monitoring and emergency purposes.

According to Mr Ken Mugambi, a general manager at the National Oil Corporation, it is safer to have the gas stored and contained in an underground tank where it is easier to monitor and the effects can be contained.

The project is expected to come to life in May next year, and a successful pilot program has been implemented at Freedom Heights Apartments in Kihingo village in Langata. The current program is ongoing at Sadi Road, South B.

OTHER SAFETY MEASURES

Other safety measures include an internally installed excess flow valve that ensures only the required amount of gas flows through the system, a leak detection and emergency shutdown mechanism to ensure that the system shuts itself down in case leakage is detected.A pressure relief valve also enables the tank to vent out in cases where there is a high pressure build up.

Gas-related accidents are also suppressed since the pressure of gas in the centralised system or the pipeline is much lower than in the cylinders we keep at home, and as a result, is less susceptible.

The bulk gas storage method has been successfully done in other countries including Ghana and Senegal.

However, it is not enough to create awareness on LPG use. While addressing the impact biomass fuels has on the environment and health, it should also be noted that better ways of handling gas should be implemented.

 

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