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Refinery to Auckland pipeline outage update - Sunday

Press Release: Refinery to Auckland pipeline outage update – Sunday 24 September 2017

Fuel customers of Refining New Zealand said they welcomed the successful completion of repairs to the Refinery to Auckland Pipeline, with fuel now flowing to the Wiri Fuel Terminal in South Auckland.

Seven million litres of jet fuel is the first major fuel parcel to be pumped. As is standard practice, jet fuel must settle for 30 hours before it can be pumped to the airport, at which point it must be retested and then certified for use.

Andrew McNaught, representing the customers of the refinery, said industry welcomed the restart of the pipeline and was looking forward to resuming pumping to Auckland Airport tomorrow evening.

Jet fuel will then be ready to load on planes from the early hours of Tuesday morning.

“While we are keen to meet the demand of our airline customers, safety in the resumption of supply will be the absolute priority for the industry.

“Industry will be typically rigorous on ensuring all standard steps are taken and all controls are in place to ensure jet fuel meets global quality and safety standards before being released to the airport,” he said.

“Again we want to thank our airline customers, and their customers in turn, for their patience during this outage.

While we are acutely aware of the inconvenience the pipeline outage has caused, we have been impressed with the way the airlines have responded to this outage.”

Andrew McNaught said the Auckland Airport JUHI Operating Committee would continue to consider the fuel allocations to airline customers on a daily basis and the allocations would be eased as soon as possible.

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In additional supply updates, Mobil and BP have been transporting jet fuel out of the new truck loading facility at Whangarei over the weekend, with Z beginning tomorrow. Trucking jet fuel will continue until resilience has been built back into the industry’s stock positions.

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

Yesterday industry decided that HMNZS Endeavour, moored off Marsden Point, can be stood down. “This was an incredibly generous offer. With the pipeline repairs completed on time, there is now no need for Endeavour but industry extends its thanks to the government and the Defence Force for being so proactive,” said Andrew McNaught.

“Ground fuel supplies in Auckland have held up well due to concerted industry trucking and jet fuel supplies at alternative airports have been well managed. Petrol and diesel will follow jet fuel out of the pipeline at Wiri, to rebuild ground fuel stock levels at the terminal.”

Andrew McNaught said while industry had pulled out all of the stops to ensure safe, continuous supply of ground fuels to Auckland, the resumption of pipeline operations would now enable industry participants to begin to rebuild their respective stock positions.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Chief Executive Carolyn Tremain welcomed the significant progress made on restoring jet fuel supply to Auckland Airport, and ensuring security of motor fuel for the Auckland region.

“The progress made in the last week is a testament to government and industry working closely together. We have been hard at work behind the scenes to ensure Auckland keeps moving.”

“I have been impressed with the way multiple government agencies – including the New Zealand Defence Force, the Ministry of Transport, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Council - have come together quickly to work with the fuel industry. The outage response has been logistically complex and has required high levels of co-ordination and co-operation with industry.”

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

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