13 Jul 2015

Controversial over-reef pipeline in Cooks could go ahead

2:59 pm on 13 July 2015

An over-reef pipeline project in the Cook Islands, billed to bring cheaper fuel prices, may be set to get the green light from the Rarotonga Environment Authority.

The Petrocean company has controversial plans to build a medium-range fuel tanker mooring and pipeline in Areanu, Nikao.

The National Environment Service director, Vaitoti Tupa, says her organisation is seeking legal advice, after hearing the project may be set to proceed.

Another company, Triad Pacific Petroleum, has sought a judicial review on the assumed approval of the proposal, but the Authority has not yet made a final decision.

An independent engineers' report has raised some major concerns about the project.

Under the proposal, a tanker which routinely passes by the Cook Islands to deliver fuel to Tahiti, could potentially stop at Rarotonga to deliver fuel for the local market, which promoters say would drop fuel prices.