Friday, 2 December 2011

Trafigura: Not the Whole Truth 4 – Smell Again


A series of 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 three posts I haven’t got past the first paragraph in Trafigura’s 38 page document, “Trafigura and the Probo Koala” – on page 4 after the index. I stay with this paragraph for more about the smell [see post 1], mention of which is missing from Trafigura’s description of the attempted discharge of waste in Amsterdam.

In 2006 Trafigura time chartered the Probo Koala, a tanker, for the transportation of oil products. 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 amount of residual waste (often referred to as ‘slops’). Coker naphtha is a commonly available and widely traded product. The discharge and treatment of slops and waste materials from all vessels, including crude oil and product carriers, is an everyday occurrence around the world.’

But they did know about the smell.  In the last post I quoted a Trafigura email.  Here I use an extract:

‘Caustic washes are banned by most countries due to the hazardous nature of the waste (mercaptans, phenols, smell)’

Trafigura knew in December 2005, almost 6 months before the Probo Koala docked in Amsterdam, that the waste would be smelly.

Naeem Ahmed, who sent the email and knew that the waste would be smelly and disposal expensive, was also the person who emailed APS to get a quote for the discharge.  He makes no mention of the smell.  He doesn’t query the cost.

Not the Whole Truth !


The APS quote was $36 / cubic meter but the cost Trafigura knew they would have to pay at the specialist company in Rotterdam was $250000 / cubic meter.

Not the Whole Truth !

“On July 23 last year, an Amsterdam court also found Trafigura guilty of hiding the cargo's real nature when it arrived in Amsterdam. Judges however acquitted the company of forgery.” [Courtesy of AFP]

Not the Whole Truth !

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