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Gas Disruption Serious - Could Last For Fortnight

Media Release

18 February 2004

Hawke's Bay gas disruption serious - could last for a fortnight

Due to the severe flooding in the Manawatu region the natural gas supply to Hawke's Bay and parts of Tararua has been disrupted.

Supplies of gas to these areas are not expected to be back to normal as possibly as long as a fortnight. However, NGC is working hard to assess the damage and get gas flowing again as quickly as is possible.

Gas consumers have been asked to shed load, and most industrial and commercial users have had their supplies completely turned off at the request of NGC as per gas supply contracts. The decision on who to cut off is predetermined on the size of the meter.

The only large-scale consumers who can still use gas are essential services such as hospitals and schools.

Gas Association chair, Trevor Goodwin, has called for a concerted effort for voluntary savings from those still being supplied. These include residential consumers and some smaller commercial customers.

"We must do everything to conserve what gas is available for essential services," he said.

The disruption to supply was caused by the collapse of the Pohangina Road bridge near Ashurst, which carried the NGC transmission pipeline. This pipeline has broken away from the remains of the bridge, and is threatened by floodwaters.

Repairs cannot be effected until the river subsides and the pipeline can be accessed.

Updates on the situation will be provided on a regular basis on Hawkes Bay radio stations and via regular media releases.

Ends./

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