District diesel users might be relieved to learn diesel supplies are expected to improve this week.By Trent Horneman
Pressure on diesel supplies are expected to ease in the region this week, as Victorian refineries are back in full swing.
Shell spokesman Paul Zennaro said the company had also imported diesel to alleviate demand.
‘‘Production has recommenced and we are trying to increase deliveries,’’ he said.
‘‘We hope the situation will improve this week and further improve into next week.
‘‘The biggest problem has been getting trucks to deliver fuel to help clear the backlog.’’
Problems at two Victorian oil refineries early last week hampered diesel supplies in the region late last week and early this week.
Caltex South East business manager Ray Hamilton said the diesel shortage had created problems for bulk deliveries.
‘‘We have our depot at Bunnaloo, which has helped keep people going,’’ he said.
‘‘Our staff have stepped up ‘milk run’ deliveries. So instead of a customer receiving 10,000 litres of diesel at a time, they might receive 2000 litres and we would visit them sooner than normal.
‘‘It has been about managing supply for customers. It has been a tough few days, particularly on our drivers who have worked from 6am to 6pm or 8pm.’’
Diesel was available from four of Echuca-Moama’s seven service stations on Tuesday, with Caltex on Meninya St, Caltex Safeway in Echuca, and two Caltex stations on the Northern Hwy all offering diesel.
Echuca’s Shell service station and Moama’s Safeway Caltex and BP stations were without diesel on Tuesday afternoon.
Some residents had turned to Moama’s refinery, which has recently started producing biodiesel.
A spokesperson from Moama’s refinery said it had serviced a small number of customers at its Hillview Ave plant, but had not been into full-scale production.
‘‘We have only been in the plant for a couple of months, we are not ready for retail production,’’ he said.
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