Nigeria: Bad fuel – Brittania-U submits transaction documents to representatives

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A Nigerian oil company, Brittania-U, has again vehemently denied any complicity in the controversial import of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as gasoline, into the country.

The company said the gasoline it imported into Nigeria has been tested by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and all other relevant authorities, adding that all agencies have certified that the product meets the required specifications.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited had said a consortium of four companies including Emadeb, Hyde, Maikifi and Brittania-U were responsible for supplying the Metanol-containing product.

But, after appearing before the House of Representatives last week on Friday, where he defended himself on the issue, Brittainai-U on Wednesday, February 24, 2022, submitted a full account with several documents, including what happened and the processes leading to the importation of the petroleum product.

The company also challenged anyone accusing it of being responsible for the adulterated product to provide proof.

In a letter signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Ms Uju Ifejika and addressed to the Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Brittania-U, said it was unthinkable that the company could be accused of being responsible for importing the unhealthy product.

The letter was titled-The position of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited (BUNL) regarding the importation of alleged quantities of Premium Off-Specification (PMS) Motor Alcohol via our mother ship, MT. Torm Hilde and was submitted to the Committee on Wednesday.

The submission contained a four-page letter with attachments and a 32-page appendix.

Part of the letter reads: “Brittania-U’s alleged importation of off-spec premium motor alcohol (PMS) is not only incorrect, but also without supporting evidence.

“The PMS we imported fully complied with the product specifications as listed in Appendix 1 of the NNPC/DSDP contract terms. Please see Appendix A attached.

“First, for a company to import premium automotive gasoline under a DSSP contract, the crude oil allowance must be made available to that company, which will remove that crude oil and in exchange, bring back NNPC/COMD premium automotive gasoline in exchange.

“In this regard, Brittania-U has received the crude oil lift under the DSDP contract in December 2021 and in return, to import/deliver 90,000 metric tons of premium motor gasoline to NNPC/COMD.

“In accordance with this contract, we contacted our overseas supplier, who had in the past supplied nine (9) shipments of premium motor gasoline out of 12 imported by Brittania-U for NNPC/COMD, under the previous DSDP contract and current; none of the PMS supplies manufactured by Brittania-U in the past two and a half years have been declared out of specification.

“Based on the NNPC/COMD specifications for the said December 2021 allocation, our supplier sent us all documents from the port of loading, including the product quality testing certificate, before and after loading. See attachment B/B and the Bill of Lading, Appendix B1 attached, which we forwarded to NNPC/COMD prior to the vessel’s arrival It is important to note here that NNPC had a copy of all the estimated times of arrival (ETA) of the Mothership Captain-MT Torm Hilde At no time did NNPC/COMD raise the issue of the product being out of specification or the presence of methanol, which incidentally was NEVER part of the product specification which were given to us by NNPC/COMD.

“Our Mothership (MT Torm Hilde), on arrival off Lagos on 3rd January 2022, submitted a Notice of Readiness of Ship (NOR) which was immediately forwarded to NNPC/COMD – See Attachment C1 attached.

“With the NOR duly submitted, the parties’ independent cargo inspectors, namely the GMO inspectors appointed by NNPC/COMD and Sayboat for BUNL, jointly carried out the cargo inspection of said PMS imported by BUNL. The joint analysis of quality published by the joint inspectors, CMO and Saybolt dated January 3, 2022, is attached hereto and marked Appendix D, together with the joint cargo inspection report showing that the product specification complied with the NNPC specification /COMD.Therefore, the product has been cleared by NNPC/COMD to unload the product from the mother ship – Mt. Torm Hilde.

“Following the issuance of Appendix D, by the Joint Surveyors, the Ship-to-Ship (STS) of the Mother Vessel in the following five (5) Daughter Vessels, designated by the NNPC, were conducted between January 4, 2022 and on January 19, 2022,” Brittania-U said and listed daughter ships to include MT ERRINNA, MT AMIF, MT LESTE, MT OCEAN 111 and MT KINGIS.

The company then stated that from all processes and attached documents, it was clear that all PMS imported and delivered met all NNPC/COMD specifications.

Continuing, the company pointed out that under the DSDP contract, its obligation ended when the product crossed the flanges of the MT mother tank. Torm Hilde in the NNPC named five daughter ships.

The company also noted that the letter to the consortium on the contract did not include methanol in the product specifications and questioned why Brittania-U was being crucified.

After providing further clarification on the matter, the company thanked the Chairman and members of the House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), for assuming the patriotic responsibility to investigate issues arising from the import of the product.

In conclusion, Brittania-U insisted that it was not involved in importing off-spec PMS into the country.

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