…To sanction defaulting importers
Following the uproar which greeted news of the importation and resultant distribution of premium motor spirit into the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has reassured Nigerians of its capacity to restore sanity in the supply and distribution of quality Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) within a short period.
The group managing director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, pledged 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.
Kyari emphasised that defaulting suppliers have been put on notice for remedial actions and NNPC is working with the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDRA) to take necessary actions in line with subsisting regulations.
Providing a graphic chronicle of the unfortunate incident, the NNPC CEO said that on January 20, 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.
Kyari explained that the company’s investigation revealed the presence of methanol in four PMS cargoes imported by the following direct-sale-direct-purchase (DSDP) suppliers who lifted PMS from the LITASCO Terminal in Antwerp, Belgium: MRS (via its vessel MT Bow Pioneer), Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium (via its vessel MT Tom Hilde), Oando (via its vessel MT Elka Apollon) and Duke Oil – (via its vessel MT Nord Gainer)
He noted that cargoes’ quality certificates issued at the load port (Antwerp, Belgium) by AmSpec Belgium indicated that the gasoline complied with Nigerian specifications.
“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 imports to Nigeria, the said cargoes were equally certified by an 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 per cent methanol content and, therefore, the additive was not detected by our quality inspectors,’’ he stated.
A statement by the NNPC group general manager, group public affairs division, Garba Muhammad, however, said to prevent the distribution of the petrol, the NNPC CEO has ordered for full quarantine of all unevacuated volumes and the holding back of all the affected products in transit (both truck and marine).