TOTAL Liberia yesterday achieved a milestone in the aviation sector in Liberia when it inaugurated a new modern refueller at the nation’s second major airport, the James Spriggs Payne Airfield, in Monrovia. The new facility is a 1, Om3 refueller.
This is the third refueller the global petroleum giant has commissioned in the country after previously installing two at the Roberts International Airport, the country’s premier airport, in Margibi County. The latest has a capacity of 2,567 US gallons, while the first two hold a total of 5,856 US gallons.
With the installation of this newest facility, TOTAL Liberia expressed its resolve to help government in its drive to adequately improve the aviation sector. “Our desire as Total Liberia is to improve Aviation operations in Liberia in line with current developments being undertaken by the government,” TOTAL Aviation Manager Amos Zaizay said at the ceremony.
TOTAL Liberia has a long experience of supplying JET A1 in Liberia. The company continues to supply major airliners including Air France, British Airways and Brussels Airlines. Manager Zaizay said, “We operate today into plane activities at the two Airports at Roberts International Airport and James Spriggs. Our storage capacity at RIA is 256,700 USG and at James Spriggs Airport it is 45,366 USG.”
Total Liberia also operates Containerized Refueling Services for UNMIL at Spriggs Airfield and in Gbarnga. “A total aviation operation is manned by 14 fully trained staff. Before the recent acquisition of 1, Om3 refueller, Total Liberia operated two refuellers at RIA and hydrant system with two hydrants carts at Spriggs.
“The product is JET A1 and average monthly throughput is 1200MT, even-though we previously had demands-of-AVGAS. In terms of the supply chain, TOTAL Liberia has been importing petroleum products in Liberia since 2005. “
TOTAL’s suppliers, according to management, have long term contracts with all the west coast refineries and in South Africa, and a number of suppliers/refineries in the Middle East. The company, OUTRE MER, time-chartered vessels guarantee secured and flexible supplies.
Zaizay said the depot operations are guided by established procedures which cover aspects of safety and product quality. Specific routines and equipment designs are in place to ensure the correct quality of product is supplied.
The testing of products, the Aviation Manager said, is done throughout the supply chain, “at the refinery, at the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) before vessel discharge, during storage, before truck loading, etc, as Aviation Fuel Quality Requirement for Jointly Operated Systems (AFQRJOS) check list.”
Zaizay said the refueling activity is handled by TOTAL Liberia personnel. “The team is especially responsible for plane fuelling activity. Staff is well trained and experienced,” he said.
The hydrant dispensers, refuellers, and all the facilities at TOTAL Liberia, RIA or Spriggs depots are regularly inspected by international inspectors in compliance with the Joint Inspection Group (JIG) procedures, lATA, Compliance Unit at LAA, and UNMIL, he said.
The ceremony was graced by the TOTAL Vice President responsible for West Africa, Ada Eze—who had to flow from France; French Ambassador to Liberia, Joel GODEAU; Deputy Transport Minister and other Cabinet Ministers; Bushuben Keita; and the Chairman of the Board of Directors Liberia Airport Authority (LAA), Gbehzongar M. Findley.
Others were LAA Managing Director, William Bako Freeman, as well as other officials of government and top business partners of TOTAL Liberia.
TOTAL-Liberia Managing Director Peter K. Adegunle said he has the explicit confidence that Liberia is the place to be and that TOTAL will continue to stand with Liberia as it gradually embarks upon improving the aviation sector with state-of-the-art facilities such as the construction of the runway at RIA and other facilities under construction.
Providing an update on the company’s activities in the country, Adegunle disclosed that the company is indeed proud to have spent over US$2 million to help improve infrastructures in the country. He also noted that the company is poised to invest an additional US$2.5 million in the country.
“We have constructed 31 state-of –the-art stations across the country and we are contemplating on doing more investment. What have been constructed here is the same as others that TOTAL has established in other parts of the world,” he said.
TOTAL currently has 649 staff and 99.4 percent are Liberians, with females making up a substantial portion of these employees. “We are poised to bring about best practices in our company.”
Speaking TOTAL Vice President responsible for West Africa Ada Eze said the company has a long history in Africa dating as far back as 1947 when it made its initial investment in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, and Dakar, Senegal; and decade later, the company came into
Liberia. She indicated that TOTAL has always seen Africa, especially West Africa, as a potential investment hub.
“Next year, we will be celebrating our 70th anniversary in West Africa when we started in Abidjan and Dakar and later came to Liberia after ten years. This is an achievement that we all need to be proud of because we have come a long way. We are always committed and we believe in Africa,” Ms. Eze said.
She noted that TOTAL believes in human development and that is why everywhere the company goes it prioritizes the people, making huge investments, especially in the youth. “Building the capacities of our employees is one of our cherished priorities,” she added.
LAA MD, Freeman, lauded TOTAL for doing such a great job, nothing that the commissioning of another refueller in the country is a milestone. “This is quite a big improvement and we will work with all of our partners to radically improve the aviation sector of our country,” Freeman said. He expressed happiness that much is now being done in the sector, both centrally and at the county-level, where airstrips are being constructed.
Meanwhile, TOTAL inspectors from Paris AIR TOTAL INTERNATIONAL (ATI) conduct their independent inspections at least once a year, where TOTAL Liberia management is represented by the Operations Manager. These inspections of the operations and equipment maintenance are to ensure that all processes are followed as laid down in tile ATI (Air Total International) manual guideline.