By Moses Cheruiyot
- The project has a capacity of four tonnes of LPG, which should sustain the homes and food providers in the mall with adequate supply of the gas for a minimum of one month
- The networked gas system involves a piped network in an apartment complex that supplies cooking gas directly to the kitchens in individual households by drawing the fuel from a central pool
- ERC is working on a plan that would require firms building gated communities to include piped gas systems
Laptrust has implemented the largest piped gas project in the country’s real estate sector at the almost complete Freedom Heights Project in Langata. Laptrust shall engage an oil-marketing firm, to provide CPF Managing Director, Hosea Kili at Freedom heights apartment blocks consisting of 252 housing units and the adjoining 120,000 square feet mall exclusively being sold and let by Laser Property Services, a subsidiary of CPF Financial Services.
The project has a capacity of four tonnes of LPG, which should sustain the homes and food providers in the mall with adequate supply of the gas for a minimum of one month.
CPF Managing Director, Hosea Kili said project was in line with global trends of offering fully serviced apartments. Mr. Kili added that a centralized gas system will substantially reduce costs associated with delivery of cylinders from house to house and the associated risks.
“There will be no need to call up the distributor, book refills and then wait for the cylinders. This will translate to cost savings on the price of gas, effectively lowering household expenditures for prospective customers,” said Kili.
The networked gas system involves a piped network in an apartment complex that supplies cooking gas directly to the kitchens in individual households by drawing the fuel from a central pool. The central gas facility has been walled off and access is restricted to trained and authorized personnel only for safety purposes.
Mr. Kili said the facility has complied with all appropriate safety codes, including getting full approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). There are also in-built features such as special valves that automatically cut off gas supply in case of leakages.
“Although the idea of a gas housing project is a novel idea in Kenya, it has been implemented with great success in other markets such as India. We, therefore, anticipate positive reception by the Kenyan market, which is generally an early adopter, with regards to new trends in the real estate space,” said Mr. Kili; who has intensified CPF’s involvement in real estate to deliver stronger returns for the Laptrust and County Pension Fund pension schemes in order to safeguard members’ future.
In a networked system, gas supply to each home is drawn from a ‘bank’ of cylinders stocked in the ground floor of the complex. It contains two lines of cylinders – one that is in use and another that serves as a standby, meaning that there are no interruptions when the one in use runs out. Once one gas bank runs out, the system automatically switches to the stand-by and an alarm signals that the gas bank is empty, prompting the property manager to book refills on behalf of customers. Moreover, the metering of the gas is similar to water and electricity, giving customers ability to monitor their exact use and hence do better financial management in the home.
The ERC is working on a plan that would require firms building gated communities to include piped gas systems, which will be similar to supply of other essential services such as electricity and water.