Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 17:20 UK

Fuel supplies problem at airport

Manchester Airport
Manchester Airport can store up to four million litres of fuel

Flights travelling from Manchester Airport face cancellation following a problem with fuel supplies.

Jet fuel from its suppliers at Shell's Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port has been shut off since Wednesday because it was found to be of a poor standard.

The airport can store four million litres of fuel but can use up to three million litres a day.

A spokesperson for the refinery said they were "confident" the supply issue would be resolved in "due course".

"We have a dedicated team working on the issue and we're confident that it will be resolved in due course," the spokesperson said.

"Disruptions in the supply chain can occur at any time, and the aviation industry is well-prepared to overcome these challenges."

Alternative supplies

A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said: "We have been advised by Shell, our suppliers of aviation fuel, of a problem at the Stanlow refinery.

"In the meantime alternative supplies are being sourced. These are not at the level that we would normally require and we have taken steps to minimise fuel use while this situation persists.

Stanlow Oil Refinery, Cheshire
There was a problem with the quality of jet fuel at the oil refinery

"Our suppliers have advised us that they expect to resolve the situation in the immediate future.

"We do not expect this to lead to any problems with flights and we have every confidence that our supplies will be restored without any impact on the operation."

However, if the problem is not resolved soon, Manchester Airport may have to start prioritising which planes can be refuelled and is already advising short haul airlines to refuel elsewhere.

However, even if supplies are restored soon there could still be a problem as it takes 12 hours to pump one day's supply through the pipeline.

Bringing it by road is not a feasible option as it would take 1,000 tankers to transport that amount.


video and audio news
The problem with Manchester Airport's fuel supply



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