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Africa|Business|Energy|Gas|Infrastructure|Petroleum|PROJECT|SECURITY|Infrastructure|Operations
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Local supplier establishes LPG division

GRAND GAS PROJECT C4A's gas cylinder vessels will be supplied to Gas Brand for use at the Build It gas depot locations opening in Honeydew, Ventersdorp and Magaliesburg

PHUMZILE MIYA Mrs Phumzile Miya is the co-owner of Gas Brand alongside Nicolas Bereng

26th April 2024

By: Trent Roebeck

Features Reporter

     

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Eligible small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa will benefit from cylinder manufacturer Cylinders4Africa’s (C4A’s) establishing a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bulk tank supply division, which is set to start operations in May 2024.

The company will also be involved in the opening of three gas retail sites – a project spurred by its sister company Gas Brand, in partnership with hardware store Build It – to make gas more accessible to consumers in rural communities.

The company’s bulk tank supply division – which will supply 22 m3 portable tanks – will enable SMEs to actively participate in the local gas industry by operating independently branded gas depots, says C4A nonexecutive director Nicolas Bereng.

This initiative is driven by C4A’s goal to diversify the gas industry and help address the plethora of challenges, including commercial gas cylinder ownership regulations, exorbitant infrastructure costs and a lack of product security, faced by independent gas suppliers in the country.

“Cognisant of the aforementioned challenges and our commitment to supporting SMEs and private clients to effectively participate in the gas industry, we explored [an] LPG ecosystem with State-owned SME-focused company Small Enterprise Finance Agency to assist eligible SMEs in attaining funding for cylinders and other LPG infrastructure,” he says.

Bereng – alongside Gas Brand co-owner Phumzile Miya – created Gas Brand to accommodate rural communities by focusing on making gas more accessible financially and geographically.

The Gas Brand company will establish gas retail sites at three Build It outlets – in Honeydew, Roodepoort; Ventersdorp, in the North West province; and Magaliesburg, in Witwatersrand, Gauteng. This will enable community members in these locations to gain access to gas based on a “pay-what-you-need” business model.

This model enables cash-strapped consumers to refill gas cylinders according to what they can afford, for indoor heating and/or cooking purposes, with LPG being a “clean-burning” fuel that reduces smoke exposure.

Making gas available as a source of fuel and energy to lower-income and rural communities is “of great importance” to the South African economy, as many underprivileged communities still rely heavily on gas for household tasks, says Bereng.

“Gas is an exceptional economic driver in rural areas. However, the more pertinent characteristic to highlight is the positive impact of gas accessibility amid the current energy climate in South Africa.”

Bereng believes that the establishment of gas retail sites will benefit Gas Brand, C4A and Build It, as the companies will increase their market share among rural communities, while Build It, specifically, will benefit from increased foot traffic at its locations.

Operations at the Honeydew location are set to start on May 15, while the Ventersdorp and Magaliesburg sites will start operating on September 15.

“The gas industry has the potential for exponential growth. The future looks good for gas, but to properly prepare for the future of the gas economy, we need to first master the basics . . . starting with gas supply diversification,” he enthuses.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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