Wellington Scoop

Fuel crisis: two ships bringing more jet fuel to Wellington

A fuel industry spokesperson announced today that a million litre diesel tank at the Hutt City Terminal in Wellington has been converted to a jet fuel tank and will be filled by the coastal vessel Matuku on 26 September to support a number of other regional airports.

He said jet fuel stocks at Wellington Airport remain healthy with the import vessel Axios due to arrive on September 25 to top up all tanks.

Airline fuel allocations are being lifted from 30 per cent to 50 per cent at midnight tonight. One week into the jetfuel outage, Refining New Zealand says it is committed to the broken pipeline being repaired and pumping again between Sunday and Tuesday.

Press Release – Mobil Oil New Zealand – September 19
An import vessel will discharge jet fuel in Lyttelton on Saturday; it will then go to Wellington where it will discharge regular petrol. It will then go across the harbour to Wellington Airport and fill all of the jet tanks to tank tops.

Another import vessel is arriving in Tauranga on Thursday. It will discharge regular petrol and diesel. It will then travel to Lyttelton, arriving on Sunday, to deliver additional regular petrol, jet and diesel. It will then travel to Bluff discharging regular petrol and diesel.

The fuel customers of Refining New Zealand said today that ground fuel supply into Auckland continued to be healthy and there was no shortage of petrol or diesel in and around Auckland.

Refining New Zealand is continuing to work on repairing a section of the 170 kilometre long pipeline which directly connects the Refinery to Auckland International Airport via the Wiri Oil Services Limited terminal. The pipeline was shut down five days ago.

Andrew McNaught, representing the customers of the refinery, said the industry was working closely together, including with the government, to minimise any impacts of the pipeline outage.

“We appreciate that as we enter the sixth day of the pipeline outage, the pressure on airlines and their customers does not go away and the 30 per cent allocation is a significant challenge. Again, while we cannot control what has happened on the pipeline, we very much appreciate the way our airline customers and Auckland International Airport are managing this issue.”

The refinery is continuing to produce fuel and the two dedicated coastal shipping vessels are continuing to load at the refinery for distribution around the country’s ports.

The coastal vessel, Matuku, is arriving in Tauranga today. Cargo totalling 39,200 metric tonnes comprised of premium petrol, regular petrol, diesel and bunker fuel oil.

The second vessel, Kakariki, will load at the refinery today and leave for Lyttelton, arriving early on Friday morning. It has premium petrol, regular petrol, jet, diesel, bunker fuel oil and bitumen on board. The Kakariki will then continue south to Dunedin, resupplying all grades.

“While the shipping schedule should provide confidence around the national fuel supply position – particularly around ensuring jet fuel supplies in airports supporting Auckland – the industry’s focus remains squarely on ensuring safe and secure supplies of ground transport fuels into Auckland.”

Andrew McNaught said the industry was grateful of the support from government which will see companies able to increase the amount of fuel carried in each truck over the next few days. Additionally, company supply managers were working with government today around the possibility of using tanks at Wynyard Wharf for fuel distribution and the use of additional defence force road tankers are currently being assessed for use in the fleet as soon as possible.

Andrew McNaught is the Manager of Mobil Oil New Zealand Limited and is the spokesperson representing the customers of Refining NZ.

Pipeline repair update

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