November 18, 2017

Jet fuel shortage in Auckland will impact on Wellington Airport

17 September 2017, 09:06 | Hattie Nash

Auckland International Airport file image. Show Grid

Auckland International Airport file image.            
           Show Grid

New Zealand's busiest airport faces up to two weeks of flight disruption after someone digging up a kauri log damaged the only jet fuel pipeline between Northland's Marsden Point refinery and Auckland.

"I have spoken to Sjoerd Post, chief executive of Refining NZ, which owns the pipeline, as well as Mobil, BP and Z Energy, which all use the pipeline to supply fuel to Auckland".

It said it would let customers know directly about flight changes and wanted passengers to check the Auckland Airport website for flight details or its travel alerts.

The statement said fuel companies were rationing the amount of oil they supplied airlines because a leaking Auckland supply pipeline was being repaired at Marsden Point.

The leak at the Marsden Point Oil Refinery near Ruakaka caused at least 27 domestic and global flights to be cancelled at Auckland Airport yesterday.

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"We appreciate this will be inconvenient and will require airlines to take alternative fuelling measures."

Air New Zealand was also making sure domestic jet services took their maximum fuel load out of Wellington or Christchurch to reduce demands on Auckland.

"There is plenty of fuel in the Auckland market, and we're working hard to bring in additional fuel from Mt Maunganui and the fill stand at Whangarei", Mr McNaught said.

Mr McNeill said the pipeline was cut by external damage, but did not confirm if it was caused by a digger was trying to lift a kauri log.

Several long-haul services to and from Asia and North America would make refuelling stops at selected Pacific or Australian airports, it said.

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Andrew said eventually Air New Zealand rescheduled a flight for him but the airline told him there was no guarantee he would fly.

The government has offered to provide what help it can.

About 70,000 litres of fuel leaked from the damaged pipe.

Yesterday the government stepped in, with Prime Minister Bill English saying government would offer all the assistance it can to get fuel supplies back up and running. The contaminated soil has been removed, the refinery said.

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