The government of Tanzania has suspended the supplier of the contaminated jet fuel and directed Sahara Energy to immediately start cleaning all the tanks and pipes of the affected oil companies in the country.
In Nigeria, Sahara energy has been accused of caused plane crashes by supplying substandard, deadly jet fuel.
Sahara Energy is the one of the firms that the PF government single-sourced to supply fuel in Zambia, and since it has been banned in other countries, one can only guess that all the dirty fuel will be pumped into Zambia.
Tanzania’s Energy and Minerals Minister Professor Sospeter Muhongo issued the directive in Dar es Salaam yesterday, ordering Sahara Energy Resources Limited liable for the supply of Jet A-1 fuel to implement the order starting today or face punitive action.
“Sahara Energy Resource should forget doing business in this country if cleaning won’t take place tomorrow (today) so that the new cargo, to arrive soon, finds storage facilities and pipes clean,” said the minister.
Prof Muhongo said that if the company fails to abide by the directives, the government would cancel other tenders that the company has been awarded before in the country. However, the government has suspended it from receiving any tenders for allegedly being involved in the supply of dirty jet fuel.
The minister was speaking shortly after touring several oil companies in the city to investigate the contaminated jet fuel saga and address the anomaly. In another development, Prof Muhongo has reassured the public that the situation is under control as efforts are underway to ensure that the country does not face shortage of the fuel.
“I would like to assure Tanzanians that the fuel is available,” he said noting that Puma Energy has made arrangements to acquire the product from Total Oil Company Tanzania and SP Oil and Gas from Rwanda.
The stock is set to last for 14 days. On the other hand, the General Manager of Petroleum Importation Coordinator (PIC), Mr Michael Mjinja, said that the suspected vessel with contaminated fuel arrived in the country on May 5 and was cleared fit for delivery by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) as required before discharging.
The Project Engineer and Aviation operations Manager of Oil Com, Mr Haruna Magota, told the minister that his company has a stock of 10.8 million litres of the contaminated stock. “We received 8.8 million litres of the consignment and combined with 2.6 million litres that we had in the tanks…
It brought the total to 10.8 million impure fuel,” he said bitterly, complaining about the big loss the company has suffered, leaving it with nothing to offer to its customers (aircrafts) at present.
Earlier, the minister directed Sahara Energy Resources to use the facilities with Tanzania International Petroleum Reserves Limited (TIPPER) to accommodate the contaminated fuel.
“For the good of the country, we cannot wait for you (Sahara Energy Resource) to bring the ship to take off the contaminated fuel. TIPPER has space to accommodate the product,” he noted.
One of the officials with the company (Sahara Energy Resource Limited), who declined to reveal his name, told Prof Muhongo that his company was not liable for the matter but has opted to assist the affected companies in cleaning the tanks and pipes.
“We are not liable for the bad fuel as we discharged after being cleared by the TBS. We have just opted to assist the affected companies clean the tanks,” he claimed.
Prof Muhongo, who seemed irked by the statement, said that there was no need for the company to engage in arguments but clear out the tanks and the pipes immediately. “It is beyond doubt that Jet AI is contaminated.
The government stand is clear and we do not have to wait to argue whether the Jet AI was brought contaminated or not,” he remarked.