Royal New Zealand Navy tanker HMNZS Endeavour will join a wider defense force effort to help bring fuel around the country by sea and road after the sole supply pipeline of jet fuel in Auckland was punctured by a digger last week, triggering a jet fuel shortage.
Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said the Royal New Zealand Navy tanker HMNZS Endeavour would sail for Marsden Point Oil Refinery on Thursday morning to upload up to 4.8 million litres of diesel fuel for delivery to ports in New Zealand.
“Endeavour can provide the equivalent of 150 road tankers of fuel. Deploying the ship will free up commercial tankers to reconfigure and focus on moving aviation fuel,” Major General Gall said.
“This will help ease distribution issues in other regional centres.”
Twelve New Zealand Army drivers would be driving civilian tankers to transport aviation fuel to Auckland, Palmerston North and Napier around the clock from 21–30 September, he said. Six Army drivers would be driving the tankers from Marsden Point to Auckland, while another six would be moving fuel from Wellington to Palmerston North and Napier, he said.
According to New Zealand’s only oil refinery Refining NZ, the jet fuel pipeline leak is expected to be repaired by September 26. The outage has already led to the cancellation of several dozen flights out of Auckland airport.