Aerial view of Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport ‘ran out of fuel’

Manchester Airport is expecting services to be cancelled or delayed overnight on Thursday morning after supply from Essar refinery in Stanlow, Cheshire was disrupted on Wednesday.

A Manchester Airport spokesperson said on Wednesday afternoon: "Today the airline fuel supply companies operating at Manchester Airport are experiencing temporary problems with their supply of aviation fuel from Essar refinery.

"Whilst a stock of aviation fuel is stored on site, as a precaution, airlines have been advised to carry additional fuel wherever possible.

Essar Stanlow"Although this is a short term problem, until it is resolved, airlines might not be able to refuel aircraft at Manchester Airport which is why contingency plans have been put in place.

"Experts from the fuel companies, the airport and airlines are working hard to resolve the issue and minimise any impact.

"Whilst we do not expect this to cause widespread disruption, it is possible that some airlines may decide to cancel, divert or delay a small number of flights from 18:00 tonight into tomorrow morning.

"We would advise all passengers travelling this evening and tomorrow morning to check their flight status with the airline before coming to the airport.

"We would like to apologise for any disruption that this may cause and assure our customers that everything possible is being done to return operations to normal.

"Further updates will be issued when more information is available."

In an update on Wednesday evening the Airport spokesman said: "Today airline fuel supply companies operating at Manchester Airport experienced an interruption to their supply of aviation fuel from the Essar refinery.

"The refinery has confirmed that fuel supply stocks to Manchester Airport are now being replenished and will be restored by Thursday morning.

"Disruption has been kept at a minimum and so far no flights have been cancelled or diverted.

"We would still advise passengers travelling this evening to check their flight status with the airline before coming to the airport."

The fuel storage centre at Manchester Airport is operated by MASHCo – a joint venture between Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP and Q8. The oil companies are contracted directly by airlines to supply aircraft fuel via MASHCo.

Manchester Airport uses around 3m litres of aviation fuel each day. This is the equivalent to 79 road tankers which carry approximately 38,000 litres per vehicle. The fuel supply comes from the Essar refinery via a pipeline which is capable of pumping 250,000 litres an hour.

A spokesman for MASHCo said: "Production related issues at the Essar Refinery, which provides the majority of aviation fuel used at Manchester Airport, have resulted in an interruption in supplies to the site. Manchester Airport Storage & Hydrant Company, MASHCo, which distributes fuel at the airport, is monitoring the situation carefully and working hard to seek alternative sources of supply. This issue is likely to result in some disruption to fuel availability until supplies from Essar have returned to normal."

A spokesman for Essar Energy issued a statement on Wednesday evening: "We can confirm that jet fuel production at the Stanlow refinery is now back to normal and we are in the process of transferring product to Manchester airport."

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