Green light for emer­gency fuel

Central Leader - - SITUATIONS VACANT - STAFF RE­PORTER

‘‘At the mo­ment they're look­ing to see if they can ship the jet fuel to Wyn­yard Wharf in the mid­dle of Auck­land, then get it trucked to the air­port.’’

Fuel trucks will have a clean run of green traf­fic lights as they rush vi­tal fuel across the city to Auck­land Air­port.

New Zealand’s avi­a­tion net­work is still un­der enor­mous strain af­ter the pri­mary jet fuel line to the coun­try’s largest air­port sprung a sig­nif­i­cant leak in ru­ral North­land.

Scores of flights have been can­celled be­cause of the fuel short­age, and thou­sands of in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic air pas­sen­gers have faced dis­rup­tion as a re­sult.

A con­tin­gency is be­ing worked on to open up the jet fuel ter­mi­nal at Wyn­yard Wharf and syn­chro­nise traf­fic lights so that fuel trucks can reach the air­port as quickly as pos­si­ble.

En­ergy and Re­sources Min­is­ter Ju­dith Collins said on Tues­day morn­ing that Auck­land Trans­port and the Trans­port Agency were work­ing to get the trucks trav­el­ling around the city more ef­fi­ciently.

‘‘One op­tion with jet fuel is open­ing up the jet fuel ter­mi­nal at Wyn­yard Wharf,’’ Collins said.

‘‘At the mo­ment they’re look­ing to see if they can ship the jet fuel to Wyn­yard Wharf in the mid­dle of Auck­land, then get it trucked to the air­port.’’

A plan to as­sist the trucks in­volved the phas­ing of traf­fic lights, along with other con­ces­sions.

‘‘The army’s got the qual­i­fied and ex­pe­ri­enced tanker driv­ers. The Trans­port Agency is mak­ing it eas­ier for the car­ri­ers to get over­weight per­mits, so car­ri­ers can safely carry fuel.’’

Mean­while, Auck­land Coun­cil was go­ing to en­able ser­vice sta­tions to ex­tend the time that they can get their fuel from the trucks un­der the Re­source Man­age­ment Act.

Collins said the De­fence Force was pro­vid­ing 890,000 litres of fuel from their When­u­a­pai and Ohakea air­bases.

‘‘They’re al­low­ing turbo prop air­craft to be able to re­fuel at When­u­a­pai and Ohakea, so that’s par­tic­u­larly help­ful for re­gional air­lines,’’ she said.

The HNMZS En­deav­our had also been de­ployed to trans­port 5 mil­lion litres of diesel fuel from Mars­den Point to Lyt­tle­ton.

Along­side this, on Tues­day af­ter­noon Refin­ing New Zealand said ef­forts to re­pair the pipe were ‘‘pro­gress­ing well’’ and fuel de­liv­ery was ex­pected by Sep­tem­ber 26.

MAR­ION VAN DIJK/STUFF

HNMZS En­deav­our has been de­ployed to trans­port 5 mil­lion litres of diesel fuel to Lyt­tle­ton.

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