The firm is building its first fuel distribution network in Kenya
KOKO Networks (“KOKO”) has launched its state-of-the-art technology production facility in Ruaraka, Nairobi.
In partnership with Vivo Energy, KOKO is mainstreaming bioethanol cooking fuel in Kenya, starting in Nairobi, through its network of KOKO Agent shopkeepers.
Through a unique hardware and software platform, KOKO has created the world’s first Smart Fuel ATM network in Nairobi.
The firm is building its first fuel distribution network by deploying hundreds of “KOKOpoint” fuel ATMs across Nairobi and its environs, from Thika to Athi River, and from Kiserian to Limuru.
This Network will be operational in the coming months, giving customers access to safe and affordable cooking fuel within a short distance of their home.
Speaking at the launch, Betty Maina, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialization, said:“The technology we are inaugurating today is exciting and a show of what we can do together. The future is bright for affordable energy in Kenya. We have been seeking to answer the question of affordable energy and looking to find a working solution and I believe KOKO provides this opportunity.’’
KOKO’s Kenya Facility produces three core fuel distribution technologies. KOKOpoint Fuel ATMs are built from hundreds of component parts, all of which are expertly assembled and tested by a skilled team of engineers and technicians at the Technology Production Facility, before being deployed into KOKO Agent stores.
The facility also produces the Smart Depot Systems and Smart Tanker Systems that enable Vivo Energy to safely control the flow of fuel, from Shell-branded service stations, into a fleet of Smart MicroTankers, and finally through to the refilling of KOKOpoints at KOKO Agents.
Customers purchase a next-generation KOKO Cooker at their local KOKO Agent or via the myKOKO smartphone app, top up their KOKO Fuel account via M-Pesa, and then access bioethanol cooking fuel at any ‘KOKOpoint’ Fuel ATM.
This consumer offering is based on years of research and development that involved listening to Kenyan households and building a modern, safe and affordable cooking solution that meets their needs.
The KOKO points are connected through state-of-the-art technology and send real-time updates to a high-tech Network Operations Centre at the Facility. This team monitors the technical and operational health of the Network and coordinates customer and Agent service, field maintenance and optimises logistics for KOKO Fuel and the KOKO Cooker product.
The Facility also contains an international-standard fully-equipped laboratory for testing fuel samples and emissions of both KOKO Fuel and other fuels in the market.
KOKO’s technology platform and bioethanol solution can deliver major cost savings to Kenyan households, providing a clean, safe and affordable alternative to kerosene and charcoal, which have been prone to price increases.
KOKO is an international technology company, based in East Africa and India, with a unique hardware and software platform for mass-market retail in Africa’s cities, focused initially on mainstreaming bioethanol cooking fuel as an affordable, fast and modern alternative to charcoal and kerosene.
The KOKO Group operates from six locations across Kenya, Mauritius, Uganda and India. It has employed more than 200 full-time staff in Kenya.
KOKO partnered with Vivo Energy Kenya in 2018 to ensure the reliable supply of high-quality bioethanol fuel, in line with international safety standards. Over the last year, Vivo Energy has worked with KOKO to add bioethanol cooking fuel to its infrastructure and operations in Kenya.
It now moves to deliver major social and environmental benefits to Kenya. By replacing charcoal, KOKO helps to protect Kenya’s forests, which are the water towers that drive agricultural productivity in Kenya.
KOKO’s solution can deliver over 10 per cent of Kenya’s Paris 2030 carbon emissions reductions target, without requiring any government subsidy and in fact delivering major new taxation revenues to Kenya.
The Ministry of Health reports that over 21,000 Kenyans die each year from the diseases associated with dirty cooking fuels – wood, charcoal and kerosene. Majority of these deaths are children under five years old from pneumonia and acute lower respiratory tract infections.
Bioethanol cooking fuel is produced in Kenya by the sugar industry, and there is a significant opportunity to expand local production and deliver a major boost to rural jobs through the growth of the industry.