The first load of jet fuel has been sent through the repaired Ruakaka to Auckland Pipeline, but it will be Tuesday before the pipeline is fully operational.

The Refining NZ pipeline, which ruptured on September 14, after earlier being hit by a digger, was successfully repaired yesterday.

Refining NZ spokesman Greg McNeill said the first batch of jet fuel arrived at Wiri at 10.09am this morning. Settling, recertification and transport to the airport for use will take another 30 hours.

He said the company will continue the process of stabilising pipeline production over the next few days. The 'bridging' of jet fuel from the refinery is continuing with further road tankers due to load today.


Mr McNeill said it was important that there was no air in the pipeline so it had to be carefully vented. At some stage soon a pipeline integrity device (PIG) will be sent down to check the entire length of the 178km pipeline.