Written by Godfrey AKON

Nigeria adopts ISO standards on turbine, marine fuel

Nigeria has reached a consensus to adopt the International Organisation for Standardisation, ISO, standards for turbine and marine fuel as Nigeria Industrial Standard, NIS.

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, said in a statement that the move conforms to international safety regulations, limiting Sulphur content in heavy fuel oils, to reduce the negative effect of Sulphur oxide emission from ships into the environment.

According to SON, the National Technical Committee on Petroleum and Petrochemicals, reached the consensus at a recent technical committee meeting in Lagos, where it reemphasized the need for Nigeria to align with the International Maritime Organisation’s, IMO, regulations on shipping activities globally.

Speaking at the event, the Director General of SON, Mr. Osita Aboloma, stressed the importance of standards in protecting the health of consumers and the environment, as well as facilitating fair trade practices, particularly with the growing demand for quality and safe products globally.

Abaloma said discussions on the draft Standards for Turbine and Marine Fuel were aimed at meeting the aspirations of the industry and aligning with international best practices, especially as Nigeria is a signatory to the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, pollution prevention treaty.

Represented by the Director, Standards Development, Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu, the SON boss explained that Nigeria as a signatory is expected to comply with IMO regulation with regard to the implementation of 0.50 per cent m/m maximum Sulphur content in heavy fuel oil used on board during ship operations within controlled areas.

He acknowledged the support of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, in convening the technical committee meeting, adding that the agency’s role as a regulator in maritime activities, would aid the implementation of the standard, and accompanying regulations.

"It would also ensure strict compliance on Nigerian territorial waters, after approval by the Standards Council of Nigeria", he said.

The SON helmsman disclosed that Sulphur oxide is known to cause respiratory disease in humans, has a detrimental effect on the atmosphere and can lead to acid rain, which may in turn harm crops, forests and aquatic species as well as contribute to the acidification of the oceans.

“Therefore, limiting Sulphur oxides emissions from ships will improve air quality and protect the environment, resulting in tangible health benefits, particularly for people living close to ports and major shipping routes”, he said.

Chairman of the Technical Committee, Prof Joseph Ajienka of the University of Port Harcourt commended SON for creating the avenue for developing the standard, which according to him would help curb pollution in the maritime industry.

Ajienka stated that such pollution could be linked to the high level of greenhouse gas emissions from burning fuels and the negative effect on the environment, emphasizing that the standard would help educate stakeholders in the sector on what is expected of them, while also making the environment safer.

The technical committee members were from relevant Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, the organised Private sector and professional associations in the downstream sector of the Oil and Gas Industry.



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