First batch of jet fuel expected at Auckland Airport tonight




The first two million litre batch of jet fuel is expected to arrive at Auckland Airport tonight following successful repairs to a damaged supply line.

Graphic of fuel pipeline from Marsden Point in Northland to Wiri in Auckland.

Graphic of fuel pipeline from Marsden Point in Northland to Wiri in Auckland.

Source: 1 NEWS

Flights at New Zealand's largest airport have been disrupted ever since the pipe from the country's only oil refinery was damaged by a digger more than a week ago.

More than 100 flights have been cancelled, including four international flights today.

However, with repairs to the pipe complete, seven million litres of jet fuel has been pumped to the tank farm at Wiri in South Auckland where it has to settle for 30 hours before it can be pumped on to the airport.

Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins says subject to quality testing this meant the first batch of pumped fuel would arrive today and then be used to refuel planes tomorrow morning.

Auckland Airport and some petrol stations have suffered from fuel shortages after the Northland leak.
Source: 1 NEWS

"Another five million litres should [then] be available through the pipeline from Wednesday," Ms Collins said.

Fuel industry spokesman Andrew McNaught said an operating committee would each day consider how much fuel should be rationed to its airline customers.

Jet fuel would also continue to be trucked from the Marsden Point refinery in Northland until the industry's stocks were rebuilt.

Ms Collins expected 184,000 litres of jet fuel to trucked to the airport today, which was double the amount delivered on Friday.

On Saturday, the coastal vessel Matuku delivered 1.5m litres of jet fuel into converted chemical tanks at Wynyard Wharf in downtown Auckland, providing an additional jet fuel supply point in the city. Jet fuel will be available for loading at Wynyard from mid-week.

The pipeline from Marsden Point also carries petrol and diesel to Auckland. During the crisis ground fuel supplies in Auckland held up.

Petrol and diesel would follow jet fuel out of the pipeline at Wiri, to rebuild ground fuel stock levels in the tanks at Wiri, the industry said.

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