Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mount Hagen fuel crisis due to landslip

PORT MORESBY: InterOil’s Mount Hagen depot is now without fuel after a recent landslip cut the Highlands Highway at Mindima, Chimbu Province.

The situation has been described as “serious” and no new fuel deliveries will be possible into the region in the immediate future.

Other centres in the Western and Southern Highlands and Enga Provinces including Mendi, Wabag and Porgera are also affected.

InterOil Products Limited General Manager Peter Diezmann said fuel tankers are unable to negotiate the damaged section of Highway.

“The landslip has caused severe damage to the road surface over a distance of about half a kilometre.

“The area is extremely unstable and the Highway is totally impassable to heavy vehicles such as tanker trucks.

“Because of this we are unable to resupply service stations and fuel depots throughout the region.

Mr. Diezmann said that stocks of diesel and gasoline, in place before the landslide, have now been exhausted.”

“Reserves of Jet A1 at Kagamuga airport are also critical and we remain in contact with our aviation customers to keep them up to date with the situation,” Mr. Diezmann said.

Mr. Diezmann says he has no information yet as to when the road may be repaired sufficiently to allow deliveries to resume.

“The tankers can only start moving again when authorities advise that the highway has been re-opened and is safe for heavy vehicles”.

The landslip occurred fifty kilometres from where a similar incident closed the same highway for a fortnight in May.

The current road closure will have a serious effect on the entire region.

About 1.5 million people live in the three Provinces affected.

For further in formation

Susuve Laumaea

Senior Manager Media Relations - InterOil Corporation

Ph: 321 7040

Mobile: 684 5168




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