Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Minister to investigate reopening of Marsden Point oil refinery

Associate Energy Minister, Shane Jones, is investigating the feasibility of reopening the Marsden Point Oil Refinery as part of the Coalition Government’s work to secure New Zealand’s fuel supply.

An investigation into a possible reopening of the refinery in Northland, which was until its closure in 2022 New Zealand’s only refinery, was agreed in the New Zealand First Coalition Agreement with the National Party.

The agreement includes the establishment of a fuel security plan to safeguard New Zealand’s transport, logistics and emergency services from any domestic or international disruption.

“Despite the desire we all share to see New Zealand free of its reliance on fossil fuels in the near future, that is the stuff of fairytales. New Zealand will continue to need gas and coal to keep our economy moving for decades to come,” Mr Jones says.

“When Marsden Point Oil Refinery closed, not only did it rob Northland of a major employer, but it also potentially put New Zealand’s fuel security at risk. It was responsible for producing the majority of our jet fuel, all shipping fuel oil and more than half of our diesel.

“A significant and sustained disruption to our engine fuels would cripple our industries and put New Zealanders in hardship. That’s why I am commissioning this study into New Zealand’s fuel security requirements.”

The work will also include planning for transitioning to low carbon fuels and consideration of the infrastructure needed to increase the use of methanol and hydrogen to ensure New Zealand has sovereign fuel resilience.

A Request for Proposals is being developed and it the study is expected to begin later this year, the Minister said.

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