Amid reports indicting MRS Oil Nigeria Limited for being solely responsible for the importation and distribution of substandard and contaminated Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) in the country, the company has revealed how the contaminated product entered the Nigerian market
The company’s statement via a press release, said “Due to current subsidy regime, NNPC is the sole supplier of all PMS in Nigeria, Consequently, NNPC through their trading arm Duke Oil, supplied a cargo of PMS purchased from international trader Litasco and delivered it with Motor Tanker (MT) Nord Gainer,”
“This vessel discharged in Apapa between the 24 and 30″ of January, 2022 and the following Major Marketers with receiving quantities were the recipients of the products: OVH – 10,000mt, MRS – 5,000mt, NIPCO – 5958mt, ARDOVA – 6,000 mt and TOTAL – 10,000mt”
According to MRS, as one of the beneficiaries, it received the product in its depot and distributed the product to only 8 of its stations in Lagos.
“Following delivery into tank, it was observed that the product appeared hazy and dark: Management immediately directed that further sales should be stopped and the product isolated. Urgent steps were taken to analyze the product to determine the basis for its contamination”
“The product analysis revealed that the PMS discharged by MT Nord Gainer carried 20% methanol, which is an illegal substance in Nigeria. As a Company, we are aware that alcohol/ethanol is not permitted to be mixed in PMS specification. We immediately informed NNPC, NMDPRA and MOMAN and it was confirmed that other Members had similar experiences.” the MRS report said.
While indicating that as at the point of disseminating the press release MRS had a total of 350,000 litres in tank at the 8 stations, the company said it awaits approval from NNPC and NMHRA for the return of the product. The affected stations have been isolated, but there are other tanks within the stations, which will receive uncontaminated product for sale as soon as possible.
“In view of the above, “MRS” will continue to work with NNPC and NMDFRA, for the evacuation of the contaminated product to NNPC, who is the sole supplier of the product. We are aware that NNPC has taken necessary steps to reject further imports of this product from Litasco Duke Oil and/or any other trader, supplyng fuels which contain ethanol/methanol into Nigeria,” the company said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has announced the withdrawal of a limited quantity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as Petrol, from circulation in the Nigerian market.
In a statement, the Regulatory Authority said the substandard product, discovered in the supply chain, was mixed with methanol quantities above Nigeria’s standard specification.
According to the statement, Methanol is a regular additive in Petrol and usually blended in an acceptable quantity.
The statement read in part: “To ensure vehicular and equipment safety, the limited quantity of the impacted product has been isolated and withdrawn from the market, including the loaded trucks in transit
“Our technical team in conjunction with NNPC Ltd and other industry stakeholders, will continue to monitor and ensure quality petroleum products are adequately supplied and distributed nationwide.
“The source supplier has been identified and further commercial and appropriate actions shall be taken by the Authority and NNPC Ltd.
“NNPC Ltd and all Oil Marketing Companies have been directed to sustain sufficient distribution of Petrol in all retail outlets nationwide.”
Meanwhile, NNPC has intensified efforts at increasing the supply of Petrol into the market in order to bridge any unforeseen supply gap.