……Product came from Belgium
By Akpobor Jirhue, Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has revealed that four Nigerian companies including its own subsidiary, Duke oil were involved in the importation of the contaminated fuel into the country.
The others include MRS, Oando, and Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium.
Chief Executive Officer/ Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari who made the disclosure also stated that his company first got hint of the situation as early as January 20th 2022, but failed to explain why it took them so long to stop the sale of the product in the open market.
Kyari however assured that the defaulting suppliers have been put on notice for remedial action adding that NNPC is working with the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDRA) to take necessary action in line with subsisting regulations.
He also reassured Nigerians of NNPC’s capacity to restore sanity in the supply and distribution of quality Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol across the country within a short period.
A press release signed by the company spokesman, Garba Deen Muhammad on Thursday said Mallam Kyari made the disclosure at the end of a meeting with some oil marketers to resolve the issues generated by the recent supply and discharge of methanol blended petrol in some Nigerian depots.
The statement reads in part,
“Providing a graphic chronicle of the unfortunate incident, the NNPC CEO said that on 20th January 2022,the company received a report from its quality inspector on the presence of emulsion particles in PMS cargoes shipped to Nigeria from Antwerp-Belgium.
“He explained that NNPC investigation revealed the presence of Methanol in four PMS cargoes imported by the following Direct-Sale-Direct-Purchase (DSDP) suppliers.
He listed the supplier, vessel name and load port as follows
MRS — MT Bow Pioneer — LITASCO Terminal, Antwerp-Belgium;
Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium —- MT Tom Hilde —- LITASCO Terminal, Antwerp-Belgium;
Oando — MT Elka Apollon — LITASCO Terminal, Antwerp-Belgium; and
Duke Oil —– MT Nord Gainer —-LITASCO Terminal, Antwerp-Belgium
Mallam Kyari further explained that cargoes quality certificates issued at loadport (Antwerp-Belgium) by AmSpec Belgium indicated that the gasoline complied with Nigerian Specification.
“The NNPC quality inspectors including GMO, SGS, GeoChem and G&G conducted tests before discharge also showed that the gasoline met Nigerian specification,’’ he said.
Kyari noted that as a standard practice for all PMS import into Nigeria, the said cargoes were equally certified by inspection agent appointed by the NMDRA.
“It is important to note that the usual quality inspection protocol employed in both the load port in Belgium and our discharge ports in Nigeria do not include the test for Percent methanol content and therefore the additive was not detected by our quality inspectors’’ he stated . .
The NNPC CEO further stated that in order to prevent the distribution of the petrol, the company promptly ordered the quarantine of all un-evacuated volumes and the holding back of all the affected products in transit (both truck & marine).