Monrovia — In November 2021, Conex Liberia officially took over from Total Liberia as the biggest importer of petroleum products in the country after the French company sold out to them. However, with just two months down the line, FrontPageAfrica has received reports from major companies and airliners that suggest that the quality of the product being imported is below standard.
FrontPageAfrica gathered that SN Brussels, one of the major airliners flying to Liberia, has been forced to bring back its check-in time to afford them the time to refuel in Sierra Leone while Air France is being forced to refuel in Abidjan to the quality of jet fuel being supplied by Conex in Liberia.
At the same time, FrontPageAfrica gathered that ArcelorMittal and China Union have both complained about the poor quality of petroleum products they are being supplied by Conex. The product is said to be causing damage to their equipment and running them into expenses.
ArcelorMittal Steel has reportedly threatened to take Conex to court for damages after a major equipment at one of its sites broke down due to bad fuel.
The company is alleged to be buying products from illegal ships on high sea.
However, Conex has refuted the allegations of supplying substandard petroleum products on the market.
Over the weekend, Air France cancelled two flights in row leaving hundreds of travelers stranded at the Roberts International Airport.
Initially, it was rumored that the cancellations of the flights were due to shortage of jet fuel.
Conex's Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. T. Nelson Williams, told FrontPageAfrica that CONEX has enough jet fuel and other petroleum products in the country to meet the demands of the market. He attributed the cancellation of the flights to technical issues on the part of Air France.
"The plane had technical issues and they requested for fuel, the fueler went there and waited for three hours and was told that they did not need the fuel," Mr. Williams said. This occurred on Thursday.
He said, on Friday also, Air France requested urgent fueling and without hesitation a truck was dispatched and seven metric tons of fuel was served.
"We do have enough jet fuel in the country and other products came in two days ago... and we made it available to Air France so I don't know what's going on or where the information is coming from," he said.
According to Williams, there was no request from SN Brussels.
But Mr. Williams insisted that CONEX does not take the risk of putting tainted product on the market, especially for aircraft. He said, CONEX supplied Air France 600 gallons of fuel on Friday and the airline has made additional request for fueling today for the plane that developed technical issues on Thursday and could not leave the RIA.
"They've already told us they'll need product once they fix that plane, so, if the product wasn't good, why will they be requesting for more product?" he asked rhetorically.