In my recent post - “Trafigura: Beyond Abidjan” - I quoted from 3 NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) articles based on information they had gathered for a programme to be broadcast in mid-September 2009. As part of the information gathering NRK asked 23 questions of Trafigura. Those questions and email exchanges are available here.
I don’t know if Trafigura has replied to any but, if they have, I don’t know the answers and, so, I pose NRK’s questions once more. I hope Trafigura will answer them now or, if answered previously, furnish us with their answers.
“In connection with a broadcast for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation we would like to ask for
an interview with Trafigura regarding the following:
1. Trafigura is charged in Norway for illegal import of waste to Norway. What is your comment to this?
2. In e‐mail from Naeem Ahmed 27.12.05 he refers to the leftovers after caustic washing as “toxic caustic”. Why do you then claim it was slop onboard the Probo Emu?
3. Why were the company Saybolt not allowed to inspect the waste tank onboard the Probo Emu when she arrived in Sløvåg?
4. Why where there representatives from Trafigura present in Sløvåg when Probo Emu discharged her waste in October 2006?
5. Can you confirm the price quoted in e‐mail from Naeem Ahmed to James McNicol dated 27.12.05, of $ 200‐250/kg to dispose of the caustic waste in Rotterdam?
6. In e‐mail from Naeem Ahmed dated 27.12.05 he claims there are only one specialist disposal company in Rotterdam, but the waste can not be moved across EU borders. Why did you then choose to send Probo Emu to Vest Tank and why did you not notify Norwegian environmental authorities and apply for import?
7. In internal e‐mails the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation have from employees in Trafigura the product on board the Probo Koala and Probo Emu is not called slop but waste. Why have you later claimed that it was slop?
8. In e‐mail from Naeem Ahmed dated 28.12.05 he says that the operation of caustic washing is no longer allowed in EU, US and Singapore. Why did you after this enter into a contract with Vest Tank for them to do the caustic washing in Norway?
9. Why have you not made yourself available for questioning by the Norwegian police as requested by them in the case of illegal import of waste on the Probo Emu?
10. In an e‐mail 28.12.05 Mr. Ahmed describes how caustic waste at Alexelas terminal in Paldiski in the matter of 5‐6 weeks destroyed the tanks. In Sløvåg the waste was stored from November 2006 to May 2007. Did you tell Vest Tank of the risks regarding the destruction of their tanks?
11. Naeem Ahmed claims in the same e‐mail that it is “inherent to remove caustic waste in tanks after 3 to 4 days max”. Did you inform Vest Tank of this?
12. Vest Tank claims you did not tell them that
a. Probo Emu came to Norway with toxic waste
b. you did not tell them that caustic washing was not allowed to do in the EU as stated in Naeem Ahmeds e‐mail of 28.12.05
c. you did not tell them that the caustic waste could destroy the tanks as they did in Paldiski if the waste was stored for a period of more that 5‐6 weeks or 3 to 4 days according to two different e‐mails
13. Vest Tank now intend to sue you for damages. What is Trafiguras reaction to this?
14. What is Trafiguras connections to Odfjell terminals in Rotterdam? Have you done caustic cleaning there?
15. When did representatives from Odfjell put you in touch with Vest Tank?
16. Did you tell Odfjell that you intended to send waste to Sløvåg and did they know you planned to do caustic washing at site in Sløvåg?
17. What happened during the discharge of Bow Prospers cargo in La Skhirra in Tunisia in March 2006?
18. In e‐mail from Naeem Ahmed to David Foster dated 24.03.06 it is suggested to leave out the presence of di‐enes from the La Skhirra report. Why is that?
19. Was there di‐enes also present in Sløvåg?
20. In e‐mail from Naeem Ahmed dated 27.12.05 he is not sure that the caustic waste in Fujairah was disposed of in a legal way. How was it disposed of?
21. At what scale did you do caustic washing in Fujairah?
22. In e‐mail from Leon Christophilopolpus dated 18.04.06 he says you are reduced to perform washing on board ships. Why where you not allowed to do this washing in Fujairah any more?
23. Was there any kind of octane increasing agent added to the coker gasoline prior to the caustic washing in Sløvåg?”
I don’t know what lies behind NRK’s questioning nor do I imply any wrong-doing on Trafigura’s part but I do believe that there is sufficient public interest into this subject that Trafigura should answer the questions posed.
I ask and I wait.