Energy firm Koko Networks unveils ethanol burners



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Energy solutions firm Koko Networks has unveiled a two-burner ethanol stove for low-income households as it seeks a piece of the cooking gas business.

The specially-designed cookers will retail at Sh7,000 and come with a refillable canister with a capacity of 2.3 litres.

Customers can top-up fuel using the smart canisters at any of the 700 Koko fuel outlets in Nairobi and its outskirts. “Koko’s technology now exists for clean heat and modern living, delivered affordably,” said Leila Ibrahim, Koko’s chief customer officer, at the launch yesterday.

The company manufactures and distributes the stoves at its factory in Nairobi.

Customers can purchase fuel for as low as Sh35 from automated dispensers and take their smart canister home to dock into their cooker.

Ethanol is being fronted as the best alternative to charcoal, firewood and kerosene for poor households owing to its safety and affordability.

In June last year, Vivo Energy, the retailer of Shell-branded fuel products, entered a deal with Koko to supply low-income homes with ethanol cooking fuel.

Through the partnership, Koko agents refuel their ethanol canisters at Vivo. The oil dealer, which sources the fuel from both local and global suppliers, also uses small trucks to deliver it to point-of-sale.

A market and policy analysis on scaling up the use of clean cooking in Kenya established that charcoal, kerosene and firewood still dominate the market.

While modern clean fuel is now more available, consumer awareness, affordability and accessibility are still key challenges.

LPG penetration has been on an upward trajectory over the recent past but the same has not been the case for bio-ethanol despite having equivalent benefits.


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