Mauritius: Alleged Adulterated Mogas - Supply Received Was Conformed to Specifications, States Minister Callichurn

press release

The State Trading Corporation (STC) informed that the agreed specifications with Vitol Bahrain E.C. for the supply of Mogas are identical to the specifications used for Mangalore as from 2016. The Mogas supplied by Vitol Bahrain E.C. was therefore conformed to the specifications.

The Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection, Mr Soodesh Satkam Callichurn, made this statement, today, in reply to a Private Notice Question, in the National Assembly. The question pertained to an independent investigation instituted into alleged adulterated Mogas in October and November 2019.

Minister Callichurn highlighted that, in November 2019, the Motor Vehicles Dealers Association made representation to the effect that Mogas supply by Vitol Bahrain E.C. was not according to the specifications and that certain vehicles were having technical problems. As such, he pointed out, on 30 November 2019, Vitol Bahrain E.C. in consultation with the STC appointed Minton, Treharne and Davies Ltd as an independent consultant to investigate concerns regarding the presence of manganese in two cargoes of Mogas supply to Mauritius by Hafnia Libra and STI Executive.

The Commerce Minister underscored that when the report confirmed the presence of manganese in the consignment of Hafnia Libra and STI Executive, discussions were carried out with Vitol Bahrain E.C. and they were requested to make sure that for the next consignment, the fuel supply should be manganese free. The final report of Minton, Treharne and Davies Ltd submitted on 24 February 2020, he stated, confirmed that manganese was present in the two consignments from Hafnia Libra and STI Executive. It has however not been possible to determine the exact level of manganese as different parameters used for testing resulted in different manganese levels.

Furthermore, the Minister underlined that the report concludes that there was insufficient data to attribute the engine damage solely to manganese.

On 12 December 2019, a delegation led by the then Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection went to France to discuss with Vitol Bahrain E.C. about the presence of manganese in the two consignments of Hafnia Libra and STI Executive, he indicated.

In addition, Minister Callichurn informed that the outcome of the meeting in France revealed that: the direct relation between the level of manganese present in the consignment of Hafnia Libra and STI Executive and the technical problems faced by car owners had not yet been established beyond reasonable doubt; notwithstanding the level of manganese, the two consignments were fully compliant with the required specifications; the report of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Association as regards the number of cars concerned and the quantum of compensation was excessively high; and, there was a need for further tests to be carried out to conclusively establish that the problem faced by car owners and the Motor Vehicles Dealers Association could be attributable to manganese.

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