Price of Kerosene has risen in the market due to high demand of the product by airline operators.
LEADERSHIP Weekend checks revealed that oil marketers now prefer to sell the product, DPK as ATK (Aviation Turbine Kerosene) which is now used as JetA1 for fueling airplanes to make maximum profit.
Industry sources further explained that the liberalisation of foreign exchange rate has resulted into expensive imported Jet-A1 fuel otherwise called aviation fuel. And because kerosene can be re-processed into aviation fuel, many marketers now divert the product.
The sources disclosed that marketers now allocate large quantity of kerosene for conversion into JetA1 in response to the high demand of the product from the aviation industry. Only a fraction is brought in as HHK for domestic consumption, hence, fuelling price increase and scarcity.
However, the spokesperson, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Sam Adurogboye has described the claim as false. He said , “ using Household Kerosene (HKK), in place of Jet A1 is impossible as it will crash the plane.”
Speaking to LEADERSHIP Weekend, he said it is not possible, not tenable and can never happen as doing that is suicidal for airline owners to use HKK instead of Jet A1.
“No one can substitute HKK for jet A1,the implication is huge and that will crash the plane. It is not possible, not tenable and cannot happen. No one will do that because what it means is that someone wants to deliberately put the plane up and then crash it.”
A top member of the Depot and Product Marketers Association, who gave his name as Timothy Ajayi said, ‘Let me tell you what they are doing. They blend Kerosene to higher grade then add some additives to get JETA1. This is often done at the point of loading it. “For instance, if these independent/ major oil marketers decide to import let say one million litres of Kerosene, they will first put the lucrative Aviation demand into consideration, hence, ensure that about 700,000 litres is converted to JetA1 ,while only 300,000 litres is meant to be sold at filling stations for domestic use. Allocating this 300,000 HHK for domestic use is even done for fear of losing their importation licenses.
LEADERSHIP weekend gathered that middlemen who buy high stock reportedly deplete volumes at outlets and sell at higher price to retailers after they realised upsurge in aviation demand due to anticipated Hajj travel. While they acknowledged that HKK is different from DPK, they said it is the refining of the product that gives different grades. The truth is that one can’t change the fact that kerosene is what is used as Aviation fuel which is called JetA1.
Meanwhile, some Oil marketers who pleaded not to be named blamed the development on unfavourable foreign exchange regime and low patronage of HKK, arguing that the development forced them to stop importation of household Kerosene causing it to soar high amid economic hardship.
The marketers who argued that they are eager to upscale importation of DPK (Dual Purpose Kerosene) said they were however challenged by Forex scarcity.
They regretted that petroleum products that are very relevant to the masses like the household kerosene and Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) called diesel are now selling for above N255 per litre, while Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) otherwise called cooking gas is selling for N5,300 per 12.5kg cylinder
Operations Controller , Department of Petroleum Resources ( DPR) in Edo State, Engr Ebi Ogionwo said investors must be encourage to establish modular refinaery to boost supply of A.G.O.
He said the fact that kerosene is the major source of household energy used by the poor in Nigeria makes the development unbearable. Ordinary Nigerians are going through hell to source for household energy in the absence of regular electricity, petrol and gas. He regretted that forests are being depleted to make firewood as alternative.
Reacting to the scarcity and price hike, the national president of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association on Nigeria, IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, said the situation may not be unconnected to subsidy removal on the product which allows marketers to import and fix prices based on market forces.