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Gasoline currently being supplied is clean and fully compliant to international norms, says Minister Sawminaden

Date: February 14, 2020
Persona: Business; Citizen; Government; Non-Citizen

GIS - 14 February, 2020: The gasoline currently being supplied is clean and fully compliant to international norms, said, today, the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection, Mr Yogida Sawminaden, in the National Assembly, in reply to a Private Notice Question as regards the consignment of Unleaded Motor Gasoline imported by the State Trading Corporation (STC) from August to December 2019. 
He recalled that the STC is assigned the responsibility of procuring the annual requirements of petroleum products for Mauritius since 1984. Initially, the STC had recourse to selective bidding and as from 1987, it resorted to open international tenders and contracts were awarded to the most competitive bidder, he added.
The Minister pointed out that since then, it has been the practice for the supplier of the petroleum products to appoint an independent accredited surveyor to conduct tests on the products at the port of loading prior to loading on the vessel. At the discharge port, only the volume of products was verified by a surveyor appointed by STC. With respect to quality, the STC relied on the certificate of quality issued after testing at the port of loading, he said.
From 1987 to 2006, the suppliers of STC were Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), Caltex Petroleum Corporation, Engen, Shell International Ltd, Independent Petroleum Group (IPG), KPC, Veba Oil, Galana Energy Ltd, Chevron Texaco Global Trading, Addax B.V, Vitol Bahrain E.C, Litasco.
Mr Sawmynaden further stated that in 2006, following bilateral negotiations between the Government of Mauritius and the Government of India, STC has been purchasing petroleum products from Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL). STC entered into a first contract with MRPL in July 2006 for a period of one year only to assess the performance of the supplier. Thereafter, the contract was renewed for successive three-year periods from August 2007 to July 2010, August 2010 to July 2013, August 2013 to July 2016 and August 2016 to July 2019, he said.
He highlighted how in 2016, STC decided to carry out surveys on the world market to determine the prevailing premiums for petroleum products required by Mauritius.  As more competitive rates were obtainable, the STC held negotiations with MRPL for a decrease in its premium but the latter was not agreeable, he said.
The STC then decided to review its procurement process and launch tenders on the international market. An international tender exercise was launched on 25 March 2019 for the supply of petroleum products for the period 01 August 2019 to 31 July 2020. 
By the closing date of 29 April 2019, 11 bidders submitted their offer, out of which 9 quoted for Clean Petroleum Products (CPP) and 8 for Dirty Petroleum Products (DPP). Following an evaluation exercise, the Board of the STC approved that the contract for CPP be awarded to the lowest substantially responsive bidder, namely Vitol Bahrain E.C and to PetroChina International (Singapore) Pte Ltd for DPP for the period 01 August 2019 to 31 July 2020. The contracts were not awarded in light of the judgement of the Supreme Court of Mauritius in the case STC v/s Betamax in May 2019.
Alternative arrangements were made by the STC with the Central Procurement Board (CPB) for an emergency procurement for the period 01 August 2019 to 31 January 2020, following which the contracts were awarded to Vitol Bahrain E.C for CPP and to PetroChina International (Singapore) Pte Ltd.
During the 6 months’ contractual period, Vitol Bahrain E.C supplied nine consignments of clean petroleum products. For the period August to December 2019 which is specifically mentioned in the question, seven (7) consignments were received.
Speaking about counter analysis, Minister Sawminaden indicated that it is performed only when the results of key tests prior to the discharge of products do not comply with the agreed specifications and in such cases the products are not discharged and returned to the supplier.
As regards the assessment and impact on vehicles, he underlined that consignments for the period August to December 2019 were in order and according to specifications.  The need for an assessment on the impact on vehicles on gasoline therefore did not arise, he said.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email:  Website:  Mobile App: Search Gov
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