Viewpoint

October 29, 2017

Kerosene scarcity: The Akinlaja committee at MRS

Kerosene scarcity: The Akinlaja committee at MRS

The long queue for expensive and unavailable kerosine…but when will this scarcitystop?

By Emmanuel Ajibulu

Poor state of roads and trucks loading kerosene (DPK) with high flashpoint in petrol stations or on the road with open kegs and no safety controls among other things have been identified as part of the risks related to DPK handling in Nigeria and that has contributed greatly to most hazardous incidents recorded in recent times.

The long queue for expensive and unavailable kerosine…but when will this scarcitystop?

These assertions were highlighted in a presentation made by Ms. Amina Maina, Group Executive Director at MRS Holdings in TinCan Island during an oversight visit by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream in Lagos.

The delegation, led by the Chairman of the committee, Hon Joseph Akinlaja, on a fact-finding exercise, had engaged various stakeholders in the country’s oil and gas sector, including the industry regulators, about incessant causes of kerosene scarcity and explosion in the country.

While commenting on the company’s product quality assurance procedure, Maina stated that top, middle and lower samples of the products are taken from each compartment of the vessel and shore tanks and are properly labeled and handled to prevent contamination. She explained further that samples are subsequently transported to the surveyor’s laboratory and MRS laboratory for analysis (ASTM/IP methods) and thereafter retained for a minimum of 90days or until next receipt. According to her, customers are also given daily quality certificate of MRS product in storage.

“With reference to our supply, we run a fully integrated supply chain business model, with a specific focus on trading of refined petroleum products from the refineries, shipping to various locations, including our terminal; bulk storage of refined products, distribution, marketing and retailing.

“We use advanced trading and risk management techniques to source highest-quality refined petroleum products at the most competitive prices across the world. Through our trading office we have succeeded in establishing excellent merchant relationships with major refineries, blenders and trading companies all over the world. Our Tin Can Island Terminal and our volumes across the West African sub region have jointly translated into an economy of scale advantage, enabling us to take leadership in price, quality, and volumes.”

Asked on how to safely handle DPK, Maina said: “As a product with a high flash point, DPK should be handled the same way as we do for PMS or ATK. There must also be introduction of truck standards which is similar or same like that of ATK trucks. Regulators should also ensure that sale of DPK in petrol stations are done through pre-packed sealed kegs. Truck bottom loading system can also be introduced and the masses and stakeholders must also be sensitized about high risks of handling DPK, and the masses must be convinced and educated to start using LPG in compliance with global best practices.

All clad in protective gear, Marco Storari, Group Executive Director at Mrs Oil and Gas took the members of House of Representatives round on a facility tour to have a look and feel of the world class automated facilities acquired by the company to meet the demands of its downstream operations.

Reacting to why there is sharp decline in importation of DPK, Maina said it is simply because marketers no longer enjoy subsidy and again unstable and high cost of dollars are factors that have contributed to that. She alluded to the fact that no investor would like to take a risk that would put his capital in jeopardy.

Hajia Amina Maina said the last time MRS brought in DPK to the country was a year ago.

  • Ajibulu is media aide to Hon. Joseph Akinlaja