The Trinidad Express reported that The Minister of Energy, Conrad Enill, said the effects of the excessive sulfur in the Aviation Fuel used to refuel aircrafts at Piarco International Airport, Trinidad, would have been “minimal.” I suppose because of this “minimal” effect it was decided to immediately stop all refueling at Piarco. Hundreds of passengers were left stranded because of this “minimal” effect. Mr. Enill said there was bad instrumentation at Petrotrin so the bad instrumentation gave the bad fuel a good rating. It was random sample testing by foreign labs that picked up the problem and thankfully the foreign lab also didn’t have bad instrumentation. However, even if the foreign lab also had bad instrumentation the effects would have been “minimal” according to the Minister’s logic. Mr. Enill said such incidents were normal in this type of industry. Is it normal worldwide or is it normal in Trinidad and Tobago? I suppose bribe-taking is normal in the Government Industry and pig-manners is normal in the Police Industry.
Maybe Mr. Enill is right but the action to stop all refueling doesn’t match a “minimal” effect. If a company is making something as important as aviation fuel and does not have a procedure in place to check the credibility of their instrumentation then something is wrong. Relying on defective instrumentation is as good as relying on no instrumentation so were there no checks and balances? Just imagine, state oil workers are among the highest paid in the country and Petrotrin still couldn’t afford to hire someone who knew what they were doing. But I think that is normal in that industry as well.
I know Mr. Enill is trying to raise the public and international travelers confidence in local aviation fuel but by playing down the situation and saying it is normal doesn’t sound right, and to some people, it may even sound like a cover up.