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A focus on co-operation and innovation has helped meet the challenge of the Marsden Point pipeline disruption, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins says.

“While work continues behind the scenes, we have made significant progress,” Ms Collins says.

“The first batch of 91 petrol is expected to flow down the pipeline on Friday. This is a significant milestone on the path back to normal supply.

“Today is also the first day that there are no fuel-related cancellations at Auckland Airport, though there are still some minor disruptions. 

“It is important to recognise that it will take time for fuel stocks in Auckland to be replenished, and the increased amount of trucking around the city is expected to remain for at least a week to 10 days.

“The response to the pipeline disruption was a highly complex logistical exercise, which meant unique solutions were needed to ensure fuel could continue to be delivered,” Ms Collins says.

“We have seen some really innovative thinking come out of the response. Over the past 13 days work arounds, such as enabling transfer of jet fuel by truck from Marsden Refinery to Auckland, plane-to-plane-refuelling at Auckland Airport, and converting chemical tanks at Wynyard to receive and store jet fuel have occurred.

“The repair work on the pipeline was achieved within a week of the extent of the seriousness of the leak being confirmed, but not at the expense of safety and quality. 

“The fuel supply and aviation industries are to be commended as well for the complex rescheduling, re-routing and technical solutions they have implemented.

“The New Zealand Defence Force also rose to the task helping with the Wynyard Wharf solution and providing sea and land support including the deployment of the HMNZS ENDEAVOUR and supplying 20 drivers.

“While great progress has been made with a return to largely ‘business as usual’, the government continues to be closely involved in monitoring the situation and remains on stand-by to scale up its current assistance if required,” Ms Collins says.

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