Monrovia – The Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) blocked cargoes of bad petroleum products shipped to Liberia by business man and politician Musa Hassan Bility and two other importers.
A report done by LPRC in the possession of FrontPage Africa revealed that the petroleum products brought in by vessels M/T’s Camden, Eleana and Brent failed the quality test and were not permitted on the Liberian market.
“Three motor tankers that sailed to Liberia over the past seventeen days with cargoes of petroleum products intended for discharge into storage facilities within Liberia and for sale on the Liberian petroleum market regulator, the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) to deny these vessels the chance to discharge as they so desired and to turn these vessels away from the shores of Liberia,” the report revealed.
The bad petroleum brought by Bility and his colleagues if wasn’t detected by the LPRC could damage a lot of vehicles in a country that is flooded with used cars.
“Bulk of our cars we have here are used cars; then you go and allow bad product to come into the country?
It will damage cars,” the head of communications at LPRC Williams Morris said.
Morris said after several tests were conducted, the lab technician advised the management not to allow the petroleum on the shore of Liberia, adding that it was a decision the Managing Director upheld.
“With the advice of the lab technicians, the Managing Director did not allow the product to come in the country,” Morris said.
The LPRC head of communications said the importers challenged the management decision and brought in external experts who agreed with results that came from the LPRC lab.
“There was a chemist that came from La Cote d’Ivoire that acknowledged that the petroleum is not good for the market, so we sent it back.
The penalty for me is the fact that they will bring vessels without being allowed and they will have to take it back.
I mean that’s a penalty. You can’t send the man’s vessel back and punish him again if it was something smuggled into the country you can penalize such people. We sent the product back for them to bring good product, the penalty is the losses they went through,” Morris said.
Bility in short interview via mobile admitted to bringing in the petroleum which did not meet the standard for entry on the Liberian market.
“I wasn’t alone in this, we brought our petroleum and government said it wasn’t good so we sent it back, go to BIVAC and ask for their report, but LPRC said the petroleum wasn’t good, I don’t think this is political because it wasn’t my one,” Bility said.
Many are left to wonder about BIVAC’s role. The company is tasked to carry out pre-shipment inspections of goods and products coming into the Liberian market.
Consumers complained of the low quality of goods on the market, stressing that Liberia’s commerce is flooded with junk goods.
Failing to do proper pre-shipment inspection of petroleum brought by Bility and his colleagues, the importers quickly sought the intervention of BIVAC-Liberia who also produced a test result different from the one LPRC had put out, adding that the said petroleum was fit for the Liberian market which was later disapproved by technicians from BIVAC-Liberia counterpart in the sub-region upholding the result from LPRC.
FrontPage Africa contacted BIVAC-Liberia but was given contact with a company representative who agreed to an interview two days ago, but later told FPA he’s not well and couldn’t speak to the issue at bar.
The LPRC Lab report stated that M/T Camden – On Saturday, July 8, 2017, the motor tanker M/T Camden berthed at the jetty of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) intending to discharge cargoes of PMS and AGO into receiving shore tanks of LPRC.
The Petroleum Testing Laboratory of LPRC acted accordingly and performed petroleum quality analysis on both cargoes and found that the AGO was partially fit for use.
Particularly, the AGO cargo in compartments 1S, 1P,2S, 2P and 6s proved to be of acceptable quality and the laboratory advised the management of LPRC to permit the discharge of this cargo into the shore tanks of LPRC.
However, the AGO cargo in compartment 6P was found to be out LPRC specifications and the laboratory advised the management of LPRC to neither permit the discharge of this cargo into the shore tanks of LPRC nor permit the sale of same on the Liberian market.
“The PMS cargo was also tested and analyzed and was found to have a distillation residue of 4% which is higher than the acceptable 2.0% limit of LPRC.
Also, the density of the PMS was found to be lower than the acceptable than the quoted density on the certificate of quality submitted by the importer (West Oil) with a variance greater than 0.0003 kg/L. further, the dark coloration of the PMS suggested possible contamination or high residue, the latter being supported by the residue quoted above.
Based upon these findings, the laboratory advised the management of LPRC not to permit the discharge of the PMS cargo nor permit its sale on the Liberian market,” the report averred.
“All of the above findings were communicated to the management of LPRC as well as the importer concerned (West Oil) on Saturday, July 8, 2017 via mobile phone and on Monday, July 10, 2017 via written correspondence.
In the meantime, discharge of the AGO in compartments 1S, 1P,2S, 2P and 6s commenced on Saturday, July 8, 2017 while the Laboratory intensified monitoring of the discharge inter phase to ensure that no AGO from compartment 6P was delivered to our receiving tanks.”
The report noted that the importers responded on Saturday, July 9, 2017, via mobile phone by asking for a resampling and a repeat of the analysis on the samples to be re-drawn.
In the interest of clearing any doubt on the part of the importer, the laboratory, with the approval of the management of LPRC, promptly re-sampled and re-tested the petroleum cargoes held by the vessel M/T Camden.
The test results remained the same as described previously.”
Again on Monday, July 10, 2017, at the request of REO International and on behalf of the importer, West Oil in concert with the management of LPRC, the laboratory re-sampled petroleum products from the vessel M/T Camden and did so along with representatives of the importer as well as the inspector of the importer (REO international), the protective and indemnity party (P& I party), representative of the agent and representative of the supplier. All parties drew samples and proceeded to the laboratory for the third run of analysis on samples of the cargoes of M/T Camden.
“The analysis were performed jointly by LPRC, REO International, and representative of West Oil and all other relevant parties. The results of the analyses remained the same.
For the fourth time and with the addition of Miss Josephine Doe of African Marine services to the team (serving as the new protective and Indemnity assigned for the vessel), the cargoes of M/T Camden were re-sampled and re-tested by all parties concerned.
The test results remained the same and the management of LPRC asked the importer and the owners and/or operators of the vessel to sail away from the oil jetty of LPRC without discharging the PMS cargo onboard nor discharging the AGO from compartment 6P,” the report revealed.
“M/T Eleanna- The motor tanker M/T Eleanna berthed at NPA berth#3 on Saturday July 9, 2017, intending to discharge cargo of PMS into the receiving shore tank(s) of the Liberia Storage Company (LSC).
“The Petroleum Testing Laboratory of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) collected samples of the mentioned cargo and performed petroleum quality analyses on said samples and found that the PMS had a distillation residue of 4% which is higher than the acceptable limit of 2.0%.”
“The density of the PMS was also found to be lower than the quoted density on the certificate of quality submitted by the importer (SRIMEX Oil and Gas) with a variance greater than 0.0003kg/L and the dark coloration of the PMS suggested possible contamination or high residue, the latter being supported by the residue quoted above.”
“Based upon the findings, the laboratory advised the management of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) not to permit the discharge of the PMS cargo into the storage tanks of LSC nor permit its sale on the Liberian market.
This advice was communicated to the management on Sunday July 9, 2017 and also to the importer, SRIMEX Oil and Gas.”
On Monday, July 10, 2017, the importer, SRIMEX Oil and Gas and her technical representative Bawah and Sons approached the laboratory and requested a repeat of the analysis on their cargo.
“This request was granted by the laboratory with the approval of the management of LPRC and the analyses were duly repeated by the laboratory in the presence of representatives of SRIMEX Oil and Gas then sought the opinion of the petroleum testing laboratory of BIVAC.
The results of from BIVAC lacked integrity and substance.”
“The analyst who performed the analysis at BIVAC was actually a Laboratory Technician concomitantly working with the Petroleum Testing Laboratory of LPRC, BIVAC failed to demonstrate the availability of an analyst of her own to perform the test or analyses under consideration after she was asked to do so; the test results clearly didn’t even represent the most obvious physical properties of the product under consideration.”
During the week of July 10, 2017, the importers connected to the vessels mentioned above asked BIVAC Liberia to bring in foreign experts to represent them technically during a repeat of the analyses on their product.
BIVAC Liberia works with BIVAC Ivory Coast and BIVAC Guinea and was able to bring two personnel into the country.
Although LPRC didn’t approve of the importers’ action to bring external technicians, the management of LPRC deemed it prudent after many appeals from the importers to permit a re-run of the petroleum analyses.
The result of the test proved to be exactly the same as those obtained by LPRC in the many tests performed earlier.
The situation was considered resolved and the management of LPRC repeated her instructions to all importers concerned and their respective vessel owners not to discharge their cargoes of unacceptable quality into the country.