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Industry sets up 0800 help line to manage diesel

Media Statement
For immediate release
7.00pm 28 May 2001

Issued on behalf of the New Zealand oil industry

Industry sets up 0800 help line to manage diesel issue

A free-phone help line (0800 003 002) will be up and running by 10am tomorrow (Tuesday 29 May) to provide information and manage the process for reimbursing costs of replacing diesel fuel filters.

New Zealand Refining Company General Manager, Alan Davey, said today the free help line has been established by the four major oil companies, and the number will be widely publicised (from 10.00am tomorrow morning).

Mr Davey said it will help people experiencing diesel filter problems with the winter grade diesel and provide assistance in organising to have filters replaced, or providing reimbursement to those people who have already incurred filter replacement costs over recent weeks due to the current problem.

“The major oil companies have appointed loss adjustors GAB Robins to co-ordinate all claims for reimbursement. All people need do is pass on details of their circumstances and they will get assistance to either replace their filters, or to be reimbursed for costs already incurred in replacing a filter. Costs to be reimbursed are those associated with filter replacement and reasonable labour costs.

“There are many people anxious about reimbursement of the cost of filter replacements. The freephone helpline has been established to assist those people who are experiencing unusual or persistent performance problems associated with diesel such as hard starting, engines stalling after starting, significant power loss and, in rare cases, completely stopping due to clogged filters.”

Mr Davey said the advice continues to be that land based diesel users should keep using current diesel stocks, as long as they get fuel filters replaced at the first signs of clogging. Engine damage is very unlikely, but it is important to seek advice as soon as symptoms develop.

“New diesel stocks have arrived in Mt Maunganui, and new diesel supplies will arrive in Lyttelton early tomorrow (Tuesday). In addition, a specially chartered vessel carrying 9.5 million litres is expected to arrive in Port Chalmers, Dunedin on Thursday.

The first priority for these stocks will be commercial marine users. By Friday, all marine fuelling stations are expected to be replenished.

“The oil companies are in consultation with the fishing industry over how to replenish their vessels quickly and safely,” Mr Davey said.

The industry is coordinating its resources to distribute new diesel to all ports over the coming weeks.

“With these new stocks we should be able to clear the affected diesel within the next four weeks. We are pleased to be able to offer a freephone number from tomorrow which will address filter reimbursement issues.”

For all other general information people should contact the individual oil companies on their 0800 numbers:
BP: 0800 800 027 (option 0)
Caltex: 0800 733 835
Mobil: 0800 808 666
Shell: 0800 474 355

For further information, contact:
Mark Unsworth Ph: 025 996 450

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