Over Allegation Of Substandard Product, CONEX Sets Record Straight

By: Abraham Davids

Contrary to news reports carried by the FrontPage Africa News Paper indicating that Liberian Petroleum giant CONEX has imported into Liberia substandard petroleum products or Sub-par fuel and sold same to major companies and airliners, the company has issued a statement setting the record straight and assuring that it remains a fair player plying in good business dealings.

In its statement, CONEX categorically states that all products imported into Liberia by her are tested and certified by the LPRC laboratory, adding that its products are in strict compliance with international standards.

Conex further states that in line with standards and best practices, she sternly ensures that jet fuel imported into the country is tested and certified by an international laboratory in Abidjan before it is brought to Liberia and supplied to its airlines customers in Liberia.

CONEX intimated that Petroleum Products that do not meet specifications are rejected, and the vessel bearing such product is asked to vacate the Port of Monrovia by the Liberian authority.

“At no time did Conex release tainted or rejected products into the Liberian market. For almost two years since March of 2020, and long before it acquired Total Liberia, Conex supplied Total with jet fuel, which Total then provided to all the airlines flying out of Liberia. Conex petroleum has never received complaints from Total or the airlines about the quality of said fuel”, the release stated.

The renowned Liberian Petroleum giant stated that In early December 2021 its client, ArcelorMittal informed her of their dissatisfaction with the look and texture of the diesel fuel that it had supplied to them. CONEX responded informing Mittal that the product was tested and certified. The company also told Mittal that it was willing to re-certify the product to ensure that it met its requirements. Mittal agreed and the product was accordingly re-tested and certified for consumption. ArcelorMittal accepted the product and has had no further concerns, said CONEX.

“Since then, Conex has supplied all petroleum products to Mittal. A fuel carrying vessel was initially due to arrive on December 4th, 2021, then rescheduled to arrive on December 28, 2021, and further delayed to January 4th, 2022. The Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) issues a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which is a communication sent for publication to notify Airmen of low availability or the non-availability of jet fuel. Based on the low supply of jet fuel available at the Aviation Depot at Roberts International Airport (RIA), and in compliance with international aviation standards, the LCAA issued a NOTAM on December 19, 2021, to the Liberia Airport Authority, the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority, and the Airlines. The Initial NOTAM was valid from December 21, 2021 – to December 25, 2021. Due to further delays from the vessel, the NOTAM was extended to January 4, 2022. LCAA published an official NOTAM on December 30, 2021. Conex complied with industry standards by notifying the LCAA and LAA of the low fuel supply. Conex also directly communicated with the airlines about the issue. The vessel carrying the long-awaited jet fuel arrived in Liberia on January 4, 2022, and was discharged on January 5, 2022, with 229,000 US gallons of jet fuel. As per Standard Operating Procedures, Conex took fuel samples on January 5, 2022, which were sent to Abidjan for laboratory testing on January 6, 2022. Conex received lab results and certification via email on January 9, 2022, which confirmed that the fuel was up to standard. Since the first NOTAM was issued on December 19, 2021, Conex has supplied emergency and special flights with 35,968 US gallons of jet fuel”, the release clarifies adding that at no point in time did CONEX completely run out of Jet Fuel.

The release furthers, “On January 6, Air France communicated to the aviation manager a need for emergency fuel. As a result, Conex dispatched a refueling vehicle to the flight to deliver up to 3,500 US gallons of fuel. Unfortunately, due to unresolved technical issues with the aircraft; Air France could not depart, and the refueller (tanker) was sent back to the depot. To be clear: Conex had no hand in the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of the January 6th Air France flight. Although the January 6 flight did not depart, Air France arranged for a replacement flight, which Conex supplied with 660 US gallons of jet fuel. On January 7th, that plane successfully took off from RIA. Neither Air France nor any other airline complained about substandard petroleum products from Conex. On January 10th, 2022, Conex Energy Liberia sent an email to all concerned authorities recalling NOTAM, which expires on January 15th, 2022. To ensure that the airlines have enough fuel, Conex is in the process of replenishing and increasing its jet fuel reserves at RIA”.

Meanwhile, Conex Energy Liberia is expecting another fuel vessel on January 14th, 2022, the company has informed.

CONEX is a renowned Liberian-owned petroleum company that recently acquired Total-Liberia earning much respect and stakes in the country’s petroleum industry. Petroleum experts and commentators in Liberia have all said since operations over several years ago, CONEX has proven to be credible and reliable in its dealings and has endeavored to trade in integrity.

A petroleum dealer, Morris Sekou Kanneh told Parrot News last evening that he had purchased products from CONEX for well over five years and not a day the company sold him and other customers substandard petroleum products. “Conex is the pide of Liberia when it comes to the business of petroleum, no want should be permitted to slander and incriminate their hard-earned reputation in the name of industry politics. They have proven that Liberians can do better in this industry and we must be proud of them”.

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