In 2013, Tanzanian Andron Mendes was faced with the high cost of refilling a cylinder of LPG for his new family. Recognising the prohibitive burden such costs must place on poorer families, he searched for a solution.
Teaming up with mechanical engineer Sebastian Rodriguez-Sanchez, who was then active in the solar mini-grid business in West Africa, they formed KopaGas, devoted to the design and provision of a cost-effective and accurate pay-as-you-go (PAYG) smarter meter for LPG cylinders. Their innovation capitalised on the emergence of mobile money in East Africa.
In 2018 a group of investors with extensive experience in energy, infrastructure and African investments formed what became Circle Gas to find a way to bring clean cooking to low-income earners at a scale never achieved before. They identified KopaGas technology as the key to achieving this vision. Circle Gas is now bringing its latest technological innovation, a NBIoT-compatible smart meter to Kenya and expanding the provision of LPG to the mass market in Tanzania and Kenya.
Our Team Philosophy
Serving the customer is at the heart of everything we do. Delivering excellence for our customers and shareholders will deliver a strong, sustainable business and make a meaningful improvement to the lives of millions.
We believe in diversity and collaboration
Carey is an entrepreneur who has built businesses in sectors ranging from oil and gas field services to archiving and records management. He serves on the boards of various companies in the banking, education, engineering and real estate sectors. He is chairman of the Kenyan chapter of the non-profit organisation Farm Africa
Susan is a human resources specialist, publisher and entrepreneur. She has founded both an organisational development & HR consulting company and a publishing house. She was previously Coca-Cola’s Eurasia Africa Director for Learning & Development based in Istanbul and prior to that, the Director for Human Capital for Coca-Cola Africa based in the UK and later Johannesburg. Susan sits on the Boards of Centum and M-Kopa Solar. She has also served on the Boards of UAP Insurance, East African Breweries and Kenya Women’s Financial Trust (KWFT) amongst others.
Michael is founder and CEO of Concept Oil Services, an oil trading and logistics company with a turnover of more than $5 billion, that also owns transshipment terminals and a petroleum logistics business.
Circle Gas CEO, Board Member
Volker leads both the overall global Circle Gas business and the expansion of the business in Kenya. Volker has over 30 years’ leadership, commercial, strategic, operations and financial experience in the downstream oil and petrochemical industries in the UK, Turkey, Germany, the USA and South Africa. Volker worked for 23 years with BP and was subsequently CEO of Essar Oil UK. He sits on the boards of SOCAR Turkey and Argent Energy, as well as the UK Government’s Industrial Development Advisory Board.
Dr. Sebastian Rodriguez
Circle Gas Head of Technology, Board Member
Sebastian is responsible for Kopa-Tech in China and is responsible for technology development and smart meter production. He is co-founder of KopaGas in Tanzania and is an award-winning expert in energy and advanced metering infrastructure. He is a former World Bank consultant and research scientist at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He was also Chief Technology Officer for the first biodiesel plant in West Africa. He holds a PhD in Engineering from Imperial College London and an MSc in Engineering Design from the University of Manchester.
Circle Gas Head of Tanzania, Board Member Alternate
Andron leads Circle Gas operations in Tanzania. A co-founder of KopaGas and the inventor of the smart meter, Andron is an entrepreneur who has developed a series of Tanzanian business ventures, he is also a certified accountant with over 14 years experience in auditing, finance and taxation. His career includes roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Tanzania Revenue Authority, and he was Chief Financial Officer at three multinational insurance companies in Tanzania. He invented the smart meter which was commercialised by Kopagas
Circle Gas Head of Legal, Board Member
Charles was a partner at the law firm Watson Farley & Williams and specialises in acquisitions and disposals of companies and businesses, corporate and non-corporate joint ventures, company restructuring, securities issues and other fund-raising exercises for public and private companies. Charles has worked on biomass, on-shore and off-shore wind, solar, waste to energy and oil and gas projects and the development, purchase and sale of international LNG and oil product terminals.
Circle Gas Head of Investment and Business Development
Hanaan has 18 years of investment experience leading transactions, strategic partnerships and portfolio management with equity funds including Actis Energy and Blue Ridge Capital, with a focus on emerging markets. She founded Gridworks, the $300 million African energy utility investment company capitalised by CDC Group. She is an expert on African infrastructure with numerous publications and holds a PhD from the University of Oxford. She has sat on numerous company and non-profit boards including Eneo, the national electricity utility of Cameroon, and Virunga Energies, the power company of the Virunga National Park in the DRC.
Our values drive our behaviour
We want to transform the lives of millions of households, by providing them with affordable clean cooking. We want to contribute to achieving a number of sustainable development goals.
We are a customer obsessive organisation and tirelessly work to improve our customer experience (safety, reliability, affordability, ease of use, responsiveness, operational excellence).
Innovation in Technology & Business
We will use innovation in technology and in our business model to drive further improvements in all aspects of the customer experience to accelerate our growth.
We will engage as a trusted partner in our communities, keeping our promises and striving to be sensitive to local issues. We will be inclusive and welcoming.
We will act with absolute integrity. We will be honest and transparent, and always remain compliant with our anti-bribery and corruption policies and all related legislation.
Employer of Choice
We’re striving to be an employer of choice, by providing a diverse and inclusive working environment, and a fair, friendly and stimulating culture.
Safety and Security
We will never compromise on the safety and security of the public, our customers and our employees. Awareness of safety best practices is a way of life for us and flows through into everything we do.
Delivering returns to our funders is a pre-requisite to our success. We are conscious that we will only succeed if we get substantial support for our growth aspirations from our current and future shareholders and lenders.
Check back frequently to hear the latest news from Circle Gas.
Circle Gas is adapting to COVID 19
The pandemic is creating great uncertainty for all businesses. We expect there are going to be significant and long-lasting changes to the societies we live in. It is too early to fully understand the ramifications of the pandemic, but the need for affordable and clean cooking solution, and Circle Gas services, seem as pressing as […]Read More
Clean Cooking Alliance interview CEO Volker Schultz
Our CEO Volker Schultz recently spoke with Peter George, the Clean Cooking Alliance’s Senior Director for Private Sector & Investment, about our recent the acquisition of of KopaGas's propriety technology and what this deal means for the future of the company and its contribution to scaling up clean cooking solutions in emerging markets.Read More
Circle Gas Launch at UK-Kenya Tech Hub
We announced the launch of Circle Gas and our Kenyan subsidiary MGas at the UK-Kenya Technology Hub, hosted by the Nairobi Tech Hub and the UK High Commission to Kenya. In attendance were Alok Sharma, UK Government Sectary of State for the Department of International Development, Susie Kitchens, Deputy High Commissioner and Michael Joseph, current […]Read More
Circle Gas Completes Acquisition of KOPAGAS™ Technology
Circle Gas Limited has concluded the acquisition of KopaGas’s proprietary technology in a transaction worth USD 25 million.Read More