• Friday, July 19, 2024
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DAPPMAN debunks allegations of importing dirty fuels

DAPPMAN debunks allegations of importing dirty fuels

The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) has countered claims made by the management of Dangote Refinery that marketers are importing substandard fuel into Nigeria with the backing of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

In a statement released last night, DAPPMAN emphasised that no association member or private fuel depot has imported fuel that fails to meet NMDPRA regulations.

“Recently, news surfaced with complaints from Dangote Industries Limited, alleging that the NMDPRA has been indiscriminately granting licenses to marketers to import ‘dirty refined products’ into Nigeria.

“DAPPMAN categorically states that no association member or private fuel depot has imported fuel that does not meet the specifications currently approved by the NMDPRA. The information from Dangote Refinery’s management is inaccurate,” the statement read.

DAPPMAN also pointed out that the NMDPRA had initially opposed offloading by daughter vessels from mother vessels via ship-to-ship operations offshore Lome. This opposition was met with strong resistance from downstream operators and was eventually withdrawn.

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The association recalled that between February and May 2024, the NMDPRA permitted diesel imports with a maximum sulphur content of 200 parts per million (ppm). However, the regulator later advanced the target date for implementing the 50 ppm sulphur limit on petrol and diesel imports from December 31, 2023, to June 1, 2024.

DAPPMAN argued that by this action, the regulator effectively limited all marketers and depots to sourcing diesel from Dangote Refinery, even though the refinery had not yet installed its desulphurisation equipment, and its diesel blends currently exceed 50 ppm sulphur.

“This move was also contested by DAPPMAN in a letter to the NMDPRA dated June 10, 2024, warning the regulator against inadvertently promoting a monopoly in the sector.

“Despite repeated resistance to attempts to introduce a Dangote Refinery monopoly into the downstream sector, and the fact that the refinery’s latest diesel production reports sulphur content at 1200 ppm, it is perplexing that Dangote Industries’ management would claim that the NMDPRA is granting licenses indiscriminately for importing ‘dirty refined products’ into Nigeria,” DAPPMAN stated.

According to the marketers, the current diesel blend from Dangote Refinery, with a reported sulphur content of 1200 ppm, is technically classified as ‘dirty fuel,’ significantly exceeding the 200 ppm limit adhered to by other marketers and depot owners.

While acknowledging Dangote Refinery’s right to adopt any business model, DAPPMAN criticized the refinery’s practice of offering cheaper bulk sales prices to international buyers at the expense of Nigerian buyers, questioning the company’s patriotism.

The association also noted that several Nigerian marketers had been offered Dangote Refinery cargoes by international trading firms at much lower rates than those directly offered by the refinery, which they argued is not in the best interest of Nigerian fuel consumers.

“There is no doubt that the success of Dangote Refinery would be a source of pride for the nation. However, all downstream operators must comply with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, which opposes any form of monopoly.

“DAPPMAN remains committed to collaborating with all stakeholders, including Dangote Refinery, to provide safe, healthy fuels to all Nigerians competitively, ensuring affordable fueling options for their daily needs,” the statement concluded.