Most, if not all, staff members of Mega Gas Alternative Energy have suffered from energy poverty.

“Most of us have suffered from indoor pollution and lack of access to clean and affordable energy,” said Peter Njeri, the company’s CEO and Head of Business Development.

According to the World Health Organisation, the use of charcoal and wood as fuel for cooking contributes to indoor air pollution, which is a serious health hazard that causes the deaths of more than 4 million people annually around the world. Harvesting of biomass fuels has also contributed to the degradation of the environment and is unsustainable. About 3 billion people across the globe suffer from energy poverty and in Africa, 70% of the population suffers from it. In Kenya, 18,000 people die from indoor pollution, which Mega Gas works to reduce, if not eliminate.

“We turn plastic waste into energy using a first-of-its-kind technology in Kenya. This enables us to offer gas that is cheaper, has higher calorific value compared to the alternatives, which means it burns for longer. We also close the look of plastic waste by completely converting it into fuel, which means it doesn’t end up in landfills,” said Mr Njeri.

Mega Gas Alternative Energy is a clean tech startup established in 2015, whose mission is to provide access to clean and affordable cooking energy to low-income families.

“Our gas has been tested by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and has been certified to be safe for use,” he added.

The CEO ,  who mobilises and optimises both financial and human resources to increase sales and scale the enterprise, says that their target users are mostly stay-at-home mothers aged between 18-40 and are predominantly educated up to the secondary level.

“Most of our customers live in low-income areas, working in the informal sector such as operating small grocery kiosks and earn between $1- $3 a day, in households with an average occupancy of 6 people. This is why we sell our gas for only $6 for a 6kg gas cylinder,” he added.

“We are currently building a community kitchen in Soweto, Kayole, in Nairobi, where local residents will have access to our kitchen fitted with our gas and they can pay $0.25 for every one hour of cooking with our gas,” said Mr Njeri.

Their current target market is Eastlands in Nairobi and in Vihiga, Buvai village, Majengo Town in Khamisi Constituency. The commercialisation of their new plant in Ruiru near Nairobi is currently 90% complete. The prototype plant in Vihiga has a capacity of 1.7 tonnes and is operational.

Mr Njeri is proud that they have been successfully providing 1,300 families with gas as part of the pilot phase of their project.

The company projects that over the next 12 months, they will scale their work and will increase their production capacity from the current 10 tonnes to 20 tonnes, which will cater to over 2,300 families. This means that these families will have access to clean, affordable cooking gas. The company will also greatly recycle and reuse plastic waste, which is great news for the environment. The company plans to recycle about 6,000 tonnes of plastic waste by the end of this year.

“We want to grow our operations and increase our capacity within the next 5 years to enable us comfortably serve about 80,000 people a month. We also hope to expand our operations to the rest of East Africa by growing our production capacity, hiring more qualified personnel and digitising our services,” the CEO concluded.