By Kuvee Kangueehi
The five oil companies in Namibia, namely BP, Caltex, Engen, Shell and Total, have received instructions from their respective head offices to turn down outright receipt of fuels carried by the Farandol Vessel.
BP and Shell received instructions from their head offices in London, Total from Paris, while the instruction for Caltex came from its mother company Chevron in the United States.
The instructions from the international head offices put the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia – Namcor Trading – in a much more difficult situation as Namcor was hoping to reach a quick solution with the oil companies.
A managing director of one of the local oil companies, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Farandol Vessel unfortunately does not meet the oil industry standards for transporting petroleum products.
The managing director noted that the shipping standards are laid down at global level by oil majors and this involves a clear balancing act between the requirements of oil companies, the governments in the countries where they operate and international laws.
The MD added that Namcor was advised well in advance not to use the vessel as it did not meet the standards but the paratstal decided to ignore their advice.
The MD said the oil companies are not trying to be difficult but these standards have been put in place because fuel is a very dangerous substance and can cause a lot of damage if not treated with care.
“Imagine if we ignore some of the safety standards and this causes a fire breakout, how much property and human lives will be lost?”
The MD added that these standards are also to avoid sea pollution as it costs billions of dollars to clean the sea after oil pollution.
The Farandol Vessel, which has been rejected, is carrying 14??????’??