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Bad fuel: Brittania-U submits documents of transactions to Reps

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

The company said the petrol it brought into Nigeria was tested by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and all other relevant authorities, adding that all the agencies certified the product as meeting required specifications.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited had said that a consortium of four companies comprising of Emadeb, Hyde, Maikifi and Brittania-U was responsible for the supply of the product which was laced with Metanol.

But, after appearing before the House of Representatives last week Friday, where it defended itself on the matter, Brittainai-U on Wednesday, February 24, 2022, submitted a comprehensive narrative with several documents, consisting of what transpired 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 the proof

In a letter signed by its Chairman/CEO, Mrs. Uju Ifejika and addressed Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Brittania-U, said it was unthinkable that the company could be accused of being responsible for the importation of the unwholesome product.

The letter was titled-The Position of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited (BUNL) Regarding the Importation of Alleged Quantities of off Spec Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) Through Our Mother Vessel, MT. Torm Hilde and was submitted to the Committee on Wednesday.

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

Part of the letter reads: “The alleged importation of off-spec premium motor spirit (PMS) by Brittania-U, is not only incorrect, but was also without supporting evidence in proof thereof.

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The PMS which was imported by us, was in full compliance with the product specifications as contained in Appendix 1 of the NNPC/DSDP contract terms. Please see Annexure A, hereto attached.

“Firstly, for any company to import premium motor spirit under DSSP contract, crude oil allocation must be made available to such company, who will lift such crude oil and in exchange, bring back to NNPC/COMD premium motor spirit as a swap.

In this regard, Brittania-U was given the crude oil lifting under DSDP contract in December 2021 and in return, to import/deliver 90,000 metric tone of premium motor spirit to NNPC/COMD.

“In line with such contract, we contacted our foreign supplier, which had in the past supplied nine (9), out of 12 cargoes of premium motor spirit imported by Brittania-U for NNPC/COMD, under the previous and current DSDP contract; none of the PMS supplies made by Brittania-U, in the past two and half years was declared off-spec.

“Based on the NNPC/COMD specifications in respect of the said December 2021 allocation, our supplier sent to us, all the load port documents, including product Quality tests Certificate, before and after loading. See Annexure B/B and Bill of Lading, Annexure B1 attached hereto, which we forwarded to NNPC/COMD before the vessel’s arrival. It is important to note here, that NNPC was in copy of all the Expected Time of Arrival (ETA), from the Master of the mother vessel-MT. Torm Hilde. At no time did NNPC/COMD raise the issue of the product being off-spec or the presence of Methanol, which incidentally was NEVER part of the product specification given to us by NNPC/COMD.

“Our mother vessel (MT Torm Hilde), on arrival at offshore Lagos on January 3, 2022, tendered Notice of Vessel Readiness (NOR) which was immediately conveyed to NNPC/COMD- See Annexure C1 attached.

“With the NOR duly tendered, the independent cargo inspectors appointed by the parties, namely, GMO inspectors appointed by NNPC/COMD and Sayboat for BUNL, jointly carried out the cargo inspection of the said PMS imported by BUNL. The Joint Quality Analysis issued by the joint inspectors, CMO and Saybolt dated 3rd January 2022, is attached hereto and marked Annexure D, with the Joint Cargo Inspection Report showing that the product specification met NNPC/COMD specification, Hence the product was cleared by NNPC/COMD to discharge the product from the mother vessel- MT. Torm Hilde.

“Following the issuance of Annexure D, by the joint inspectors, the ship to ship (STS) from the mother vessel into the following five (5) daughter vessels, nominated by the NNPC, were carried out between 4th January 2022 to 19th January 2022,” Brittania-U stated and listed the daughter vessels to include MT ERRINNA, MT AMIF, MT LESTE, MT OCEAN 111 and MT KINGIS.

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

Continuing, the company emphasized that under the DSDP contract, its obligation ended the moment the product passed the flanges of the mother vessel MT. Torm Hilde, into the NNPC nominated five daughter vessels.

The company noted also that the letter addressed to the consortium on the contract did not include Methanol as part of product specification, and wondered why Brittania-U was being crucified.

After making other clarifications on the matter, the company thanked the Chairman and members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), for taking up the patriotic responsibility of investigating the issues arising from the product importation.

In conclusion, Brittania-U, insisted that it had no hands in the importation of off-spec PMS into the country.

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Source: Vanguard 

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