hero image

We are a cornerstone of New Zealand’s energy infrastructure

As New Zealand’s only oil refinery, we ensure a reliable source of fuel for the country, meeting around 70% of New Zealand’s fuel needs.

As a key contributor in New Zealand’s fuel supply chain, we supply:

  • around 85% of the country’s jet fuel
  • around 67% of diesel
  • around 58% of all petrol
  • between 75 and 85% of bitumen for roading
  • all fuel oil for ships
  • sulphur for farm fertiliser

The Refinery to Auckland Pipeline (RAP) is a critical part of the fuel supply chain

The RAP is a 250mm wide pipe carrying diesel, petrol and jet fuel in controlled batches under farmland, towns and part of the Manukau Harbour to the Wiri fuel terminal in South Auckland. A small pipeline from Wiri supplies Jet fuel to Auckland International Airport.

The 170-kilometre pipeline is buried along the entire route and carries a potential volume of nine million litres. About half of the refinery’s production is distributed via the RAP. The balance is transported by coastal tanker and road to the rest of New Zealand.

Lifting capacity on the RAP is crucial to meeting Auckland’s growing demand for fuel, particularly jet fuel, as international visitor numbers continue to grow. In 2017 the first two phases of our three-phase capacity upgrade project lifted RAP capacity by around 10%. Phase three due in 2019 will lift capacity by a further 5%.Performance and Compliance

The pipeline operates under a mandatory Certificate of Fitness issued by an accredited Inspection Body on a five-yearly basis with annual surveillance audits for compliance and demonstration of its Integrity Management System. The RAP is currently Certified to ISO 14001 for its Environmental Management System (EMS). The EMS has been developed from the Code of Environmental Practice – Onshore Pipelines, produced by the Australian Pipeline Industry Association (APIA).

The management system has been set in place to ensure that all aspects of work performed by staff, contractors and service providers will have minimal impact on the environment – including landowners, public, flora and fauna and existing historical sites and infrastructure.

All known areas of sensitivity are red flagged on the one kilometre wide corridor from Marsden Point to Wiri in South Auckland. Our maps are reviewed for any new areas requiring additional protection for their sensitive nature. With the continued support of Refinery staff, contractors, consultants, local authorities and landowners, we’re able to maintain it to the ISO 14001 Standard.

The following Acts and Regulations pertain to pipelines:

  • HS in E (Pipeline Regulations) Act
  • Civil Defence Emergency Management Act
  • Resource Management Act and relevant Regional and District Plan rules

Designation under the Resource Management Act (RMA)

The RAP was designated in 2009 and at the time, was New Zealand’s longest designation.

The pipeline is identified in district planning maps of three councils (Whangarei, Kaipara, Auckland) and appears in council computerised databases. Each district plan sets out the purpose of the designation and all applicable conditions.

The designated corridor is generally 12m wide symmetrically from the centre-line of the pipe, reduced to 6m within road and rail corridors. This maximises the protections from interference (including from directional drilling) while minimising interference to landowners and occupiers.

Within the corridor, third parties (including landowners and occupiers) cannot do anything that would “prevent or hinder” the RAP without our prior written approval. For anyone looking to purchase, develop, or subdivide, Land Information Memoranda (LIMs) should clearly identify the pipeline designation. The pipeline is also registered on all relevant land titles.

For landowners

  • All landowners and occupiers should have an aerial map of their property showing an indicative location of the pipeline.
  • Should works be required over or in proximity to the pipeline, it is a requirement to contact First Gas on 0800 734 567 who manage the easement on our behalf, to obtain both a locate and permit to do the work.
  • If you are a landowner or occupier with special requirements e.g. organic farming where no spraying is allowed, please contact us. This also applies to neighbours who would not normally be on our landowner database.
  • Access to properties requires that landowners are sent a “Notice of pipeline easement patrol” card. This also allows both parties to agree on a suitable time and date and for the landowner to stipulate any specific HSE or environmental controls they need to allow access to third parties.
  • Further information on the Environmental Policy and maps can be found on the Pipeline Performance & Compliance page.
  • We welcome your feedback about easement management by First Gas and their contractor Treescape.

Monitoring and maintenance

Refining NZ has a comprehensive system for monitoring and maintenance of the pipeline. We have a contract with First Gas, which has the necessary specialist expertise, to monitor and inspect both the RAP and the natural gas pipeline within the shared pipeline corridor. The obligations are stringent and comprehensive. They include:

  • Regularly sending every landowner and known occupier safety information and setting out the hazards of the pipeline and the need to contact First Gas prior to any work within the easement. The safety information is required to contain information on the potential consequences of damage to the RAP, and information about what to do in the event of an emergency.
  • Identifying any changes in ownership of the land that the pipeline crosses and informing new owners and occupiers of their responsibilities by visiting them within one month and sending them a Safety Information Pack.
  • Maintaining a database of contractors whose work could affect the RAP and sending them safety information on a regular basis.
  • Undertaking regular surveillance, including monthly aerial inspection (by helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft), and regular on-ground vehicle patrols.
  • Sending monthly reports to Refining NZ and reporting unauthorised activities as soon as practicable; meeting quarterly with Refining NZ.
  • Identifying and remedying minor faults such as replacement of signs and weed spraying.

Signage

Signage on the pipeline is governed by the pipeline standard – AS2885. This provides guidance in respect of location types, design and content.

We are more stringent than the pipeline standard with the spacing of signage every 100-150 metres. In Auckland signage is on every power pole on the pipeline route and every 100 metres on kerb sides.

Back