Information from the Ministry of Water and Energy reveals that the market for Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, commonly known as domestic gas, is shared between 10 marketers. Out of the number, the SCTM Company stands tall, though its market share has in the past years been diminishing sequel to the increase in the number of operators. The marketer, five years, ago, owned 50 per cent of the market shares and by 2014, it dropped to 36.6 per cent and 33.7 per cent in 2015.
Other national marketers battling for fame are Aza (14.4 per cent), Corsa (4.7 per cent), Star Gas (0.2 per cent) and Infotec (0 per cent). Multinationals like Total Cameroun covers 14.9 per cent of the market, followed by Camgaz (12.8 per cent), Tradex (8.7 per cent), Libya Oil (6.1 per cent) and Corlay MRS (4.5 per cent.) It is therefore understandable that shortage in supply of the SCTM brand of LPG inflicts pain on many customers. The SCTM brand for example controls over 80 per cent of the market in the North West, with other brands sharing 20 per cent. In the Littoral, it covers about 55 -60 per cent of the market, with the remaining nine sharing the remaining 40-45 per cent.
The volume of imports has since 2013 witnessed an increase as part of efforts to meet demand. The country’s lone LPG producer, the National Refining Company, SONARA, has since 2013 seen its production capacity increased, though still unable to meet demand. In 2013, the company sent out 13,415 metric tons of LPG.
The amount went up to 15,914 metric tons in 2014 and to 20,941 in 2015. Imports, with the sole operator being Tradex, stood at 66,444 metric tons in 2013 and 71,783 metric tons in 2014. The amount increased to 73,927 metric tons in 2015. National production is below demand, although figures are not yet available of the number of Cameroonians who own and use LPG gas cylinders. This simply explains why it is commonplace to find people still looking for almost all 10 LPG brands.