Fueling around: pipeline repairs a week away

Marsden Point oil refinery, Northland, New Zealand.
Marsden Point oil refinery, Northland, New Zealand.
2000 passengers will be affected by the burst pipeline, which is set to be repaired next week.

A fuel pipeline which burst yesterday near the Marsden Point Oil Refinery in Northland is hoped to be to repaired next week. The pipeline sustained critical damage several months ago when a digger driver struck the fuel line while looking for swamp kauri.

The pipeline transports approximately 40% of New Zealand’s fuel to Auckland. Flights around the country will continue to be affected by the damage, with around 2000 passengers expected to face cancellations. The limited volume of fuel stored at New Zealand airports means planes can only carry 30% of the standard amount of jet fuel. A number of long-haul flights are adjusting their travel routes to accommodate for refuelling stops.

In response to the incident, Air New Zealand noted that fuel storage at airport bases would be reassessed. “Storage capacity for jet fuel is modest by international standards,” a statement to the NZ Herald reads. “The volume of refined products at Wiri needs to be reconsidered in terms of an acceptable level of storage.”

For a list of flight cancellations, visit the Air New Zealand Travel Alerts page.



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