The National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML) has pointed out that international suppliers have been supplying Pakistan with substandard urea and has asked the Ministry of Industry to initiate a ministerial-level investigation against the suppliers.
Sources indicated that NFML has written a letter regarding the loading conditions and stockholding policy of imported urea.
It is recorded that the first imported urea vessel MV Kaley having a manifest quantity of 50,560 metric tons, out of 100,000 metric tons arrived at KPT on 21/3/2022 and started discharging operations on the same day in the night shift.
Indeed, based on previous urea unloading operations in 2018, 2019 and beyond, it should be noted that the average unloading per day of good cargo is 6,000 to 7,000 metric tons per day.
In fact, on the in-port investigation of the TCP stevedore as well as other persons involved, the personal observation and inspection of the physical condition of the cargo in the vessel by members of the supervision of NFML/Karachi Port staff, it is claimed that the urea cargo of said vessel is not in good condition.
Sources said the cargo is all 5 hedges the ship is in a frozen semi-solid state instead of grains/free-flowing conditions due to which the crane handle initially holds two to three handles and release it inside the hedge to make it soft and operational for the final handle to be released at the top of the bagging plant, then press the cargo again with the handle to soften the lumps of urea.
However, despite this time-wasting exercise, the lumps still remain in a frozen state which is then hammered by the stevedore personnel in physical exercise due to this slow urea discharge of a minimum of 2,591 tons metric tons to a maximum of 4,600 metric tons. per day is underway with an average of 1,730 metric tons per shift and 3,460 metric tons per day, instead of an average unloading of 6,000 metric tons to 7,000 metric tons per day cargo is in good state.
Similarly, the movement of bags of urea in vehicles, road/rail, for shipments to NFML’s hinterland stores is also slow and less than the amount foreseen according to the allocation plan.
Meanwhile, the standard weight per bag of 50 kg excluding bag weight (140 grams) is very difficult to maintain and a variation of 200 grams is observed due to additional moisture and lumps in the cargo, so based on this rationale, rely on the average weight of 50/100 plus kg is monitored from the KPT weighbridge report per vehicle.
The ship’s average unloading rate may exceed normal days and the ship may be subject to demurrage as the remaining quantity to be unloaded is 65.79% as mentioned.
In view of the above, a ministry-level investigation may be initiated by the international supplier on the poor condition of the cargo.
The NFML has also suggested that holding such a stockpile of imported urea may not be feasible in the government’s national interest. Therefore, an appropriate economic sale procedure/policy can be adopted to avoid any further financial loss to the treasury if management deems it appropriate. .
The Secretary of Industries and Production informed that “We raised the issue with the Ministry of Commerce and TCP immediately after the NFML report to ensure the quality of imported urea as it is their responsibility, adding that he said they reported us yes regarding the good quality. imported urea”.
The scribe also reached out to TCP Chairman Rafeo Bashir Shah for his comments on the matter, but no response was received until the story was finalized.