The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says it is determined to ensure availability of marine fuels that comply with the global 0.50% sulphur regulation.
The pledge was made by Isa Mudi, NIMASA’s Director-General and Acting Head of Marine Environment Management (MEM) Department, on behalf of Dr. Bashir Jamoh yesterday (14 April) in Lagos at the opening of a two-day meeting of the Agency with modular and other refinery operators and fuel oil suppliers in the country.
Mudi said the Agency had made deliberate effort to conform to IMO 2020.
Speaking on behalf of Jamoh, Mudi said: ‘As the country’s shipping regulator, we have had interfaces with the relevant stakeholders on how to reach a win-win agreement on Nigeria’s compliance with the IMO sulphur content cap. We are happy to announce that the coast is clear for us to achieve this mandate.
‘Nigeria has an advantage ab initio, because we produce low sulphur crude. The challenge for us now is conversion of this advantage to availability of bunker fuels that meet the IMO mandate.
‘I make bold to say that we have all it takes to be the bunker fuel hub for Sub-Saharan Africa. There is a $2 billion bunker fuel market in Sub-Saharan Africa waiting to be harnessed by our businessmen and women.’
Mudi added: ‘Our refineries are not working at full-capacity, and this is an opportunity for the modular and other private refineries to come in to fill a vital gap in the marine fuel supply chain. Bunker fuel is a critical element in the shipping business.
‘With the coming into effect of IMO 2020, we assure you as an Agency that the country’s shipping community will be galvanised to ensure availability, supply, and, in fact, self-sufficiency in 0.50% sulphur content fuels in line with the IMO standard.’
In their contributions, representatives of the refineries and fuel oil suppliers pledged their cooperation with NIMASA and other relevant government agencies in the attempt to make the required fuel accessible.
Refinery operators and industry stakeholders at the meeting included representatives of Niger Delta Refinery (NDR), Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), and OPAC Refinery.
The meeting had in attendance representatives of government agencies, including the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).