30 Sep 2016

Tonga to get fuel supply up and running again

12:49 pm on 30 September 2016

A fuel tanker with about 570,000 litres of fuel is expected to arrive in Tonga's Vava'u tomorrow, easing a month-long shortage.

The local Manager of Pacific Energy has told Matangi Tonga the tanker is currently in Nuku'alofa and would be in Neiafu on Saturday.

A truck with a fuel tank at an industrial storage site.

Vava'u tourism is suffering as a result of the fuel shortage with local operators saying they're losing tens of thousands of dollars. Photo: 123RF

Paula Tupou said the fuel shipment consists of 230,000 litres of petrol and 340,000 of diesel.

Mr Tupou said the Mekongstrans tanker will now supply fuel to Tonga.

The last Pacific Energy tanker to call into Vava'u was on August 18 before the company ran into difficulty securing another tanker.

Early this week, a local businessman, Tomifa Paea eased the fuel shortage problem by chartering in a ship from New Zealand with six tanktainers.

Mr Paea said his venture cost him about $US230,000 but he did it to help the people of Vava'u.

He said Pacific Energy knew three months ago they were going to have supply problem and he believed to let the people suffer without feeling responsible was unacceptable and the government should question them to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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