A Cook Islands petroleum company has put sales of its diesel on hold after the newly-imported fuel was found to contain more than 100 times the amount of sulphur expected.
The company has been selling the marine-grade diesel since December, when it was brought in primarily for the Chinese fishing fleet in the area.
The director of Toa Petroleum, Brett Porter, says a New Zealand consultant had checked the sulphur level for the company to see if it was suitable for retail sale and made a miscalculation.
Mr Porter says the fuel could potentially cause damage to modern diesel pickup trucks.
"We have suggested to people that they stop using this - stop putting it in those vehicles - and we are bringing in a shipment that arrives here in four days time of the ten parts per million diesel that is better suited to those vehicles."
Brett Porter says the New Zealand consultant is highly embarrassed by his mistake.