The National (Papua New Guinea): Shell announces contingency plan: “Shell commercial manager Peter Walsh said yesterday that the diversion would only be able to supply aviation fuel for up to 20 days. The shortage issue however will not affect any other fuels supplied by Shell, the company said.” (ShellNews.net) 22 March 05
By GERALINDA WARRE and BAEAU TAI
ABOUT 2,000 tonnes of aviation fuel shipment bound for the Australian Coast is expected to be diverted to Port Moresby today to temporarily assist the domestic flights until the tests on the recently announced batch that failed the freezing point test is sorted out.
Shell commercial manager Peter Walsh said yesterday that the diversion would only be able to supply aviation fuel for up to 20 days. The shortage issue however will not affect any other fuels supplied by Shell, the company said.
On Sunday, Jackson’s Airport JUHI ceased normal jet fuelling operations due to an inability to confirm the quality of the current shipment of fuel transferred to Shell’s Port Moresby Terminal at Idubada.
Mr Walsh explained that the current batch that is undergoing tests failed the freezing point test. This test he explained meant that when aircrafts travel higher into the atmosphere, the temperature decreases and might affect the aviation gas fuel to crystallize or freeze up. “The freezing test guarantees that the fuel will still remain as a liquid fuel and not crystallize in any way to malfunction the flight of the aircrafts,” he said. He said current tests carried out might produce some inconclusive results at the end of yesterday but the cause of the failure to pass the freezing test might still be pending until later this week. “If positive results show, then steps will be taken to release the current shipment for supply to the airport,” Mr Walsh said.
Currently, a small amount of jet fuel stock is at the airport but is being reserved for emergency use while stock levels at Shell’s regional PNG ports are being assessed with short term rationing expected to maintain services.
Shell usually purchases up to three and half thousand tones of aviation fuel per month.
Meanwhile, managing director of Mobil Oil Ltd, John Acraman said any shortage of fuel supplies that impacts the customer is “serious” and needs immediate
attention and action.
He said like Shell, Mobil’s supply is dependent on clearance of recent shipment.
“The releases we are waiting for are for the current shipment, otherwise all
previous shipments have been cleared,” he said.
“All Jet for industry use requires testing in our Australian laboratories no matter what the source to ensure quality is maintained and it is safe to use,” he said.
“We are adopting the same process as we always have,” he said.
He said with the Napa Napa Refinery supplying fuel products, PNG does not need to import JET because Napa Napa is producing Jet for local use.
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