Friday, 2 December 2011

Trafigura: Not the Whole Truth 2 – Small


The second post – first here - in the series of, hopefully, short posts in which I highlight areas where Trafigura, or those whose writing is supportive of them, does not tell the whole truth.  There will be truth, possibly a lot of truth, in the statements I look at but all is not as it seems. [UPDATE: added 21.30 on 3 Dec 2011: I don’t allege that the ‘Not the Whole Truth’s are deliberate.]

In the first post I looked at the second sentence in Trafigura’s 38 page document, “Trafigura and the Probo Koala” – on page 4 after the index – and I stay with that sentence here.

That sentence states:

“The vessel carried out a procedure for caustic washing on several cargoes of one such product, coker naphtha, and needed to discharge a relatively small [Calum’s emphasis] amount of residual waste  (often referred to as ‘slops’).”

Small’ is a word with magical properties; is wonderfully non-specific; has no units; its meaning in the eye of the beholder.  Each of us will form a view as to what is ‘a relatively small [Calum’s emphasis] amount of residual waste’ .

What might ‘small’ mean?

litre, gallon, bucketful, barrel, tonne, few tonnes?

In Amsterdam, Trafigura asked to discharge up to 350 cubic meters (cbm)  - approx. 350 tonnes, 350,000kg.  [Updated at 09.30 on Dec 2 2011 to show volume discharged was 350cbm and not 250 as initially stated.  Trafigura’s request for a quote shows 250cbm as the maximum but on their website they state that 350cbm was actually discharged]

350cbm? ‘Small’?   Seems a lot to me.  Eye of the beholder, you see!

The Probo Koala’s waste tanks could hold 948cbm of waste and so 350cbm is 37% of its waste capacity.  Not really small.  Certainly, in terms of the volume of gasoline the Probo Koala could transport – approx 50,000cbm – the volume of waste discharged is small but 350 tonnes is not what I would term ‘small’.


But let us not forget that the volume of waste discharged in Abidjan was 508cbm.


Small’  ?

Not the whole truth !


and remember from the 1st post the key missing information was ‘smell[these 12 words added at 09.35 Dec 2 2011]

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