CITC Kavera’s Teinakore-O-Koroa Murare filling car with petrol on Saturday. The shop was out of petrol yesterday afternoon. Picture: CAMERON SCOTT/22121802
There were long queues at leading petrol stations in Rarotonga on Saturday as people
scrambled to fill up tanks after almost a week without petrol.
The island has been without petrol since Tuesday after both suppliers, Toa and Triad reported they were out.
On Saturday, cargo vessel Imua managed to offload tanktainers of petrol and leading gas stations were busy attending long queues from midafternoon. Wigmore’s Superstore and CITC Kavera were out of petrol yesterday afternoon.
Wigmore’s Superstore staff said they were busy refuelling empty tanks since Saturday afternoon and ran out of petrol yesterday. They hoped their petrol pumps will get refuelled today. Cargo vessel Liloa scheduled to arrive early this week is bringing additional shipment of petrol which is expected to ease the shortage faced by vendors.
However Louis Enoka, chairman of Price Tribunal which regulates fuel prices in the Cook Islands, earlier said it was inevitable that such shortages would happen and will continue to happen unless the distribution model changes. “Business as usual is no longer business as usual,” Enoka earlier told Cook Islands News. “It’s a loading issue, simple as that. There just isn’t the right amount of supply arriving into the Cook Islands.”
Enoka said it had been aware of the situation for “several weeks” and had been discussing with the stakeholders ways to address it. “The efficiencies of the current tanktainer model needs to be looked at, because currently it just seems to not be working from a supply perspective,” he said.