This Day (Lagos)

3 December 2012

Nigeria: Masters Energy Explains Pinnacle Contractors' Fuel Import Deals

Photo: This Day
At the pump.

Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited has thrown more light on the petrol import transactions involving its subsidiary, Pinnacle Contractors Limited, saying the import deals were genuine and should not have been faulted by the Aig-Imoukhuede Presidential Committee on Subsidy.

Documents made available to THISDAY by Masters Energy showed that Pinnacle Contractors Limited is a duly registered company, with registration number RC 419,968, contrary to reports that it was not registered.

In one of the documents titled: "Letter of Advice on Trade to Pinnacle Contractors Limited", which was addressed to the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petrocam Trading (Pty) Limited confirmed that it purchased Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) for Pinnacle Contractors.

Petrocam Trading Limited is a petroleum trading company, with registered address at No. 5 Sundene, 137 Morris Street, Strathavon, 2196, South Africa.

According to the letter, which was signed by the Director of Petrocam, Shiraz Gany, the company stated that it purchased "part cargo of the 38,300.49 MT of unleaded PMS from Vitol SA of Geneva, which was loaded at Port of Yanbu in King Fahd, Saudi Arabia into vessel, MT Haruna Express."

The company also stated that it sold 9,993.647 MT being the part cargo of Pinnacle Contractors Limited, which was trans-shipped into shuttle vessel MT Songa Ruby on August 6, 2011.

Petrocam attached several supporting documents including the Bill of Lading; Cargo Manifest; Certificate of Origin and Certificate of Quantity.

The Managing Director of Pinnacle Contractors Limited, Mr. Sotunde Olufemi had told the Aig-Imoukhuede committee that the vessel, Phillips Louisiana, formerly MT Louisiana Getty, which was said to have been decommissioned and purported to have discharged cargo into Pinnacle's daughter vessel AOG Alexandra was not the same vessel that his company loaded from, though they shared the same name Louisiana Getty.

"We had loaded from MT Louisiana Getty, now known as MT Favour, a vessel registered under Madagascar flag compared to Louisiana Getty that was decommissioned, which was under a Liberian flag, prior to her decommissioning," said Olufemi, in a letter addressed to the committee.

Olufemi also told the presidential committee to note that the case was of the same vessel identity but with totally different specifications.

"Kindly note that vessels can share the same name in the world of shipping and vessel's name can be changed from time to time under given circumstances by the owners. The case of MT Phillips Louisiana, which was formerly named Louisiana Getty is not an exception," the letter added.

To support its claims, Pinnacle Contractors also submitted the non-negotiable copy of the Bill of Lading confirming the port of discharge to be offshore Cotonou and the cargo quantity on board MT Louisiana Getty, now MT Favour.

Pinnacle also provided a scanned letter from the supplier as commented by the broker of MT Louisiana Getty, that is, MT Favour, showing that the vessel that conveyed the cargo to Africa was not Phillip Louisiana (Ex Louisiana Getty) but MT Favour, formerly Louisiana Getty.

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) also certified in one of the documents that Pinnacle Contractors, through vessel MT SONGA RUBY, formerly EX MT Haruna Express delivered 10,038,118 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) at the Masters Energy jetty in Port Harcourt from August 16 to 18, 2011.

The DPR's clarification letter, which was addressed to the Director of Trade and Exchange Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), also stated that the product met the required specifications.

The letter, which was endorsed by one Mr. MDB Ladan, on behalf of the director of the agency, was also copied to Spring Bank Plc, which funded the importation.

The industry regulator also certified that Pinnacle Contractors through vessel MT AOG Alexandra, formerly MT Louisiana Jetty, delivered 12,002,481 metric tonnes of PMS at the Masters Energy jetty in Port Harcourt from June 27 to 29, 2011.

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