25/02/2011 - General News
Greenstone Energy – the New Zealand company that owns and operates the Shell-branded retail network – said the fuel supply situation into Christchurch was continuing to improve.
Greenstone Chief Executive Mike Bennetts said while retail sites would have patchy supplies of fuel while the company caught up following panic buying, important fuel infrastructure was continuing to come back on line.
Following the temporary closure of Port Lyttelton, a shipment of fuel was diverted into Greenstone’s terminal at Timaru. This vessel finished unloading last night and an industry fleet of around 24 trucks has been bridging the fuel into Christchurch on a continuous basis.
Yesterday, two bulk fuel terminals opened for operation at Lyttelton, providing a very important local supply distribution point. Trucking is occurring from both of these terminals, as well as from Timaru.
Further import vessels are scheduled for the coming days and weeks. Indications are that the Lyttelton Port has come through the quake in sound condition and inspection of the pipelines between the berth and fuel storage terminals will be finalised today.
When these pipelines are approved for use, Port Lyttelton will be ready to again take direct fuel shipments, further improving supplies into the city.
“At midday today, 15 of our retail sites and five truckstops are able to trade and we expect to open more next week, when power supply is restored and the necessary safety checks have been completed,” said Mike Bennetts.
“Following very strong demand, it is going to take us some time to catch up with deliveries to sites, so fuel will be unavailable at some sites for short periods of time until next week.
“Delays in trucking times from Timaru have slowed deliveries to sites and truckstops but there is strong supply of fuel into Christchurch. With the Lyttelton terminals coming back on line, we will be working to restore site supplies following the initial wave of demand.”
Mike Bennetts again asked customers to be patient and to treat site staff with respect.
“Our people are pulling all the stops to rebuild supplies in Christchurch but, following panic buying, this will take some days. People need to know there are good supplies of fuel for both customers and emergency services coming into the city and the situation continues to improve.”
Operational retail sites and truckstops (subject to change and supplies)