The Managing Director of National Petroleum (NP) Mohamed Cole has in an exclusive interview with
Awoko refuted allegations made by the Kingtom Power station site manager Hussein Youniss of Global Trading Group that “all the four tankers of diesel supplied to us were contaminated causing us to shut down the machines.”
Youniss claimed that this was the first time this month that they were purchasing fuel from NP and that they had been buying fuel from TOTAL.
As a result, GTG has shut down their machines and electricity rationing has been announced with power supply only coming from Blackhall road where INCOME ELECTRIX is running their own generators.
Explaining the drama Mr Cole said that it was about 4pm on Monday when his Marketing and Sales Managers informed him that Criminal Investigations Department (CID) officers were at their terminal.
The officers he said “demanded” entry and when the workers told them they had to get permission from the head office the CID officers “forced their way into the terminal molested the workers” and arrested them and took them down to the CID.
The NP boss said he went down to the CID where he met with the head Mr Lappia and told him that they were ready to cooperate with whatever investigations but that the people arrested “were just very very junior workers who would not be able to help them out in the investigations”. He said they agreed to meet at 8am Tuesday to carry on the investigations.
On Tuesday morning he said he went straight to Kingtom where he was told that the fuel his company had supplied was contaminated. “This was a shock to us” he said “because TOTAL did not have diesel and for the past week they (TOTAL) have been taking diesel from us which they have been supplying to them (Kingtom power station) and they’ve been running on that same diesel without any problem. So I asked them to open the tank and I took sample of the diesel and then I spoke to the gentleman in charge … who said the diesel is contaminated because it contains petrol, I said okay fine I’ll take it with me so we can test it.”
The test conducted by the GTG engineer he said was simply to dip his finger into the diesel and smell it, whereupon he claimed he smelt petrol and therefore the diesel was contaminated with petrol.
The engineer according to Mr Cole claimed that he saw fire coming out of the exhaust of one of the machines and that was why he shut them down, believing that the fuel was contaminated.
Mr Cole explained that GTG wanted NP to extract all the fuel in the tanks and give them fresh diesel so that they can resume operations. He stated that he told them that since they had problems with the diesel they should all go to the terminal and examine the fuel there before loading for them. At the terminal he said they went into the gantry and took samples and the engineer again dipped his finger and claimed all the fuel was contaminated.
Cole said after that he told them that “unfortunately this is all the diesel in the country and this is the diesel you have been running on for the past one week, and this is the diesel that everybody else in the country has been using and this is the same diesel that INCOME ELECTRIX is even running on now producing electricity whilst you are down.”
The NP Managing Director said that they then took the samples and checked the specific gravity and found it to be in line with the quality certificate which accompanied the product on arrival. If there was any contamination he said the specific gravity would have changed. “The only test we cannot do is the flash point” he said “because the facility is not available right now, but as far as the specific gravity is concerned it is exactly what was delivered, and if petrol had been put in it the specific gravity would have changed” he reiterated.
Mr Cole lamented that “this is the same diesel everybody else is using and nobody has complained, so as far as we know our diesel is not contaminated.”
He disclosed that they have called the Cid to witness the extraction of the diesel saying “we’ll keep them sealed until they finish their investigations.”
Questioned why the Refinery could not have tested the diesel, Mr Cole again disclosed that the refinery is closed and therefore could not test the product. However GTG he said say they are going to take samples of the diesel and send it to the Netherlands for testing, and until then they will be discussing the issue with their management. By Kelvin Lewis