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Owner of illegal gas plant surrenders to police

By Nyaboga Kiage February 6th, 2024 2 min read

The owner of the illegal gas storage and refiling facility that on Thursday, February 1, 2023, exploded leading to the death of six people and leaving 300 others nursing injuries has surrendered himself to the police.

Derrick Kimathi the owner of the plant surrendered to the police on the afternoon of Monday, February 5, 2024.

Derrick Kimathi
Derrick Kimathi, the owner of the illegal gas storage and refiling facility that exploded on February 1, 2023. Photo|Courtesy

Nairobi News has established that he was grilled in relation to the explosion and was accompanied by his lawyer Wandugi Karathe.

“He surrendered himself to the police and currently he is recording statements on the same,” a sleuth attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said.

Nairobi News has established that Kimathi is the same person who owns a similar plant in Laikipia East which was shut down by officials attached to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).

Investigations show that Maxxis Nyanyuki Energy and Maxxis Nairobi Energy are both owned by Derdols Petroleum Limited. Derdols Petroleum Limited is owned by Kimathi and Derdols Tech Services Limited.

On Tuesday last week, two workers identified as Ibrahim Mureithi and Christopher Maina at Maxxis Energy Nanyuki were nabbed by EPRA officials and charged the following day in court.

Mureithi was charged for refilling/ trading with assorted LPG cylinders belonging to other brands without their prior written consent while Maina was charged for transporting filled and empty LPG cylinders by road without a valid license from EPRA.

A day after the duo was arraigned in court, an explosion occurred at Mradi Village in Embakassi that has so far claimed six lives and left over 300 people injured.

By then no one knew the identity of the illegal gas storage and refilling plant until a revelation was made by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) that Derdols Petroleum Limited under the business name Maxxis Nairobi Energy was seeking legalisation of its operations.

“The report was submitted to NEMA on July 29, 2020, as a project report by the project proponent Derdos Petroleum Limited under the business name Maxxis Nairobi Energy and was assigned reference number NEMA/PR/5/2/23790 (PSR 16708),” the statement read in part.

This project was classified by NEMA as a medium risk as per the regulations of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and audit amendment regulations.