23 Sep 2017

Tanker to arrive with jet fuel in Auckland tonight

5:20 pm on 23 September 2017

Three trucks, increasing to five on Monday, are driving around-the-clock to supply jet fuel to Auckland airport.

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Photo: Refining NZ

The fuel pipeline from Marsden Point to Auckland has been repaired after it was ruptured nine days ago and is expected to be functioning by midday tomorrow.

The flight plans of thousands of air passengers have been disrupted since the sole pipeline carrying jet fuel, petrol and diesel ruptured.

Fuel industry spokesperson Andrew McNaught said the Matuku tanker with 1.5 million litres of jet fuel and 7.9 million litres of diesel would arrive at Wynyard wharf this evening.

Mr McNaught said it would take around 24 hours to discharge the fuel.

"We want the product to settle, these are going into chemical tanks," he said.

He said it was the first time the process had been done, so they needed to be sure it was safe.

The fuel should reach the airport by Tuesday next week.

Mr McNaught said airlines' fuel allocations - which are currently at 50 percent of normal usage - would be reviewed on Monday.

Refining New Zealand said the pipeline was on track to be functioning at 80 percent capacity from midday tomorrow.

The replacement section of pipe was welded in place.

The replacement section of pipe was welded in place. Photo: Refining NZ

Meanwhile, five international flights in and out of Auckland Airport have been cancelled today while airlines continue to work at half their fuel allocations.

Airlines initally had to reduce their fuel usage to 30 percent, which increased to 50 percent on Thursday evening.

The head of the Board of Airline Representatives Justin Tighe-Umbers said five international flights were cancelled today and two tomorrow.

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