gas burning from a kitchen gas stove
In East Africa, Rwandan gas company Safe Gas officially launched last week with its range of gas stoves and gas cylinders.

Safe Gas, which is said to be environmentally friendly, will be another method that will produce clean energy for cooking and reduce charcoal use by most citizens, according to local media The New Times.

Addressing the issues of safety regarding the use of gas stoves, managing director of Safe Gas Rwanda Liban Mugabo said: “The safe-gas addresses the issues of safety in the sense that it’s made of materials that are non- explosive, non-corrosive, which does not stain surfaces as well.”

Safe Gas cylinders are 50% lighter than common steel containers, making them easy to handle, and refill, he added.

Mugubo explained that the cylinders are made of glass, which enables the user to monitor and see the gas level. He emphasised that the new product will solve the issues which have predominantly marred the LPG business penetration.

Gas versus charcoal/firewood

The media reported that the use of gas stoves has received a positive welcome in the country with the Rwanda Environment Management Agency (REMA) encouraging the public to use gas instead of charcoal or firewood.

[quote]It is estimated that over 90% Rwandans use charcoal or firewood as a source of energy for cooking, which is depleting forestation.

At the Safe Gas launch, director general of REMA Rose Mukankomeje, expressed her support for the gas usage, stating that it would preserve the green nature for the next generation.

“Rwanda is using charcoal and firewood for cooking, and we are using more than we produce. REMA commends the use of gas for cooking in order to protect the forest cover,” Mukankomeje said.

Meanwhile Mugabo added: “We are looking at our product from the environmental transformation standpoint, because as Kigali is modernising on a day-to-day basis, people are always on the move and therefore a need for new solutions for the future and Safe Gas addresses key development questions in cooking, in terms of ensuring a greener economy.”

Safe Gas partners with local administrators

The safe-gas products are manufactured by the US-based Hexagon Ragasco, the manufacturer of composite LPG cylinders. For those wishing to purchase their own Safe Gas stoves, Mugabo said a full kit of costs Rwf90,000 ($118) that includes a 13kgs cylinder, regulator, gas and a cooker. A refill is priced at Rwf18,000 ($23.6).

However, he stated that Safe Gas producers will be working with districts and sectors through cooperatives to enable large amounts of people access safe gas cooking kits on instalment arrangement.

“We have started with Gasabo district and they have embraced the concept. We understand that the initial investment to buy the full kit is quite expensive, but we understand that we needed to come up an arrangement to facilitate the penetration of the use of gas,” he said.