KOKO & Vivo Energy announce Kenya operating partnership

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Vivo Energy becomes first multinational fuels company to enter Kenyan market for ethanol cooking fuel, using KOKO technology to enable affordable mass-market access.

Nairobi, 28 June 2018: Vivo Energy Kenya ("Vivo Energy") today announces a partnership with KOKO Networks (“KOKO”) that sees it enter the Kenyan market for clean liquid ethanol cooking fuel.

Vivo Energy, the company which distributes and markets Shell-branded fuels and lubricants across Africa, is the first multinational fuel company to enter the ethanol cooking fuel sector, working with KOKO to add bioethanol cooking fuel to its existing liquid fuels infrastructure in Kenya.

KOKO is an international technology company that has developed a unique hardware and software platform that enables the large-scale low-cost distribution of ethanol cooking fuel in African cities in partnership with downstream fuels infrastructure owners.

Cooking fuel is a $20 billion market in Africa’s largest cities, but enabling mass-market access to an affordable clean cooking fuel is a major challenge.  Many urban markets are dominated by deforestation-based charcoal, which has a detrimental effect on the environment and family health.

Through this Kenyan operating partnership, Vivo Energy and KOKO Networks will be commercially launching the consumer offering across every single neighbourhood in greater Nairobi.

Renewable bioethanol cooking fuel will continue to be sourced from both Kenyan molasses ethanol plants and imported sources, and then stored in dedicated tanks at Vivo Energy depots and service stations that are equipped with KOKO’s “Smart Depot System”.

Vivo Energy’s small fuel truck contractors, fitted with KOKO’s “Smart Tanker System”, will then undertake last-mile deliveries from the Vivo Energy service stations to a network of “KOKO Point” Fuel ATMs, located across Nairobi within small KOKO Agent neighbourhood shops.

Consumers dock their own refilalble “Smart Canister” with the KOKO Point to top up on clean fuel, with the Canister then docked at home with KOKO's modern ethanol stoves.  The KOKO Cloud software platform enables cashless payments, remote safety monitoring and complete visibility and control across the fuel supply chain.

Today’s announcement coincides with the publication by Dalberg Global Development Advisors of a triple-bottom-line study on scaling clean ethanol cooking fuel in Kenya, independently funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN).  The report recognises the continued dominance of unhealthy and environmentally-destructive fuels in Kenya, while also pointing to the proven demand for liquid ethanol cooking fuel in Kenya and elsewhere.  Dalberg estimates that transitioning urban Kenyan households from dirty fuels like charcoal to ethanol cooking fuel could result in up to 2.4 million tonnes of avoided greenhouse gas emissions per annum and result in major improvements to family health.

Joe Muganda, Managing Director of Vivo Energy Kenya, commented:

We are pleased to announce this partnership with KOKO Networks. Vivo Energy is committed to providing more efficient products, which reduce our impact on the environment, helping our customers transition to a lower carbon future.

"We are already very active in the Kenyan cooking fuel market through our Afrigas LPG offering. We see ethanol as a natural complement to our LPG business, enabling more clean fuels to be offered to our customers.”

Greg Murray, CEO of KOKO Networks, commented:

We are delighted to partner with Vivo Energy in scaling this attractive clean fuel in Nairobi, with the intention of then rolling out Networks across other Kenyan cities and towns. The combination of KOKO’s unique technology platform and Vivo Energy’s infrastructure and bulk fuels expertise now enables liquid ethanol to be delivered to customers at a significant discount to dirty fuels like charcoal. This is Ethanol Cooking 2.0.”

Edwin Macharia, Africa Regional Director at Dalberg Advisors, commented:

The ongoing dominance of charcoal in Kenya is alarming. Our forests are being destroyed, which impacts our water cycle, which hurts our agriculture. Moreover, the death toll from indoor air pollution is three times the national road accident toll, including significant deaths in children under five from acute lower respiratory infections caused by dirty cooking fuels. The entry of Vivo Energy to the ethanol cooking fuel sector, in partnership with KOKO Networks, is a major step towards cleaning up Kenyan cooking and delivering significant positive environmental and family health impacts."

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