Supplies of fuel delayed

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 04/08/2014

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Fuel haulage trucks were lined up at Timaru port for up to eight hours on Saturday to meet demand for 95-octane petrol.

Recent bad weather has upset the supply chain resulting in the fuel having to be transported from Timaru to Christchurch and other parts of the Central South Island.

Z Energy spokesman Jonathan Hill said the Marsden refinery provided 75 per cent of New Zealand's total fuel requirements.

It was usually transported by two ships to the South Island but flooding in Northland in the middle of July disrupted the coastal shipping schedule, he said.

The 15 per cent of fuel which is imported has also been affected by bad weather.

"The industry has been frantically trucking."

The boats are now back on schedule.

"There has been no shortage - just delays. There has been a bit of a catchup at some sites. If there are delays they will only be for a short time."

He said Timaru had an important role in keeping the Central South Island supplied as there was no storage out of Lyttelton port since the recent landslips.

If one petrol station ran out of a specific fuel the next one would likely have it in stock, according to Hill. "I have been in this job four years and I can't recall this happening before.

"It costs a lot of money to do the kind of trucking we're doing. Demand is absolutely huge as we use all possible resources to get the fuel to where it is needed."

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- The Timaru Herald

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