Fuel tank running on empty

The diesel fuel shortage that has been going on for several weeks in Western Canada

By Heather Nelson

Black Press

The diesel fuel shortage that has been going on for several weeks in Western Canada is definitely making an impact on 100 Mile House and area businesses, as well as other communities in the region.

It is a third party that has created the shortage of diesel, according to Castle Fuels president/owner Robert Van Driel, from the head office in Kamloops.

“I’ve been told the third-party contractor that brings hydrogen to crack the crude into diesel fuel, has a shortage of hydrogen,” says Van Driel.

“But, we are maintaining as much fuel as we can, especially for the contractors, foresters and miners who rely on diesel.”

Van Driel adds he was told they should be back to normal by Nov. 19.

The local card lock, located in the industrial area on Exeter Road, did not have fuel on Friday and part of Saturday. Van Driel says he had three trucks come down from Prince George over the weekend to fill the tanks.

“The biggest challenge is the bulk [fuel]. We are going day-by-day, and sometimes hour-by-hour.”

Van Driel notes he was planning to send trucks to Vancouver to get fuel but they also ran out.

Deliveries to some retail outlets will be stopped Van Driel says, to make sure the industries are able to keep working.

Suncor Energy, diesel supplier for the local bulk plants, states it’s trying hard to get adequate supplies to customers.

“We are putting all customers on allocations, as fairly and equitably as possible,” says Suncor spokesperson Jason Vaillant.

Air Products (AP), the hydrogen supplier that has two outlets in Edmonton, has one plant closed down for maintenance, says AP spokesperson Art George.

“We are co-ordinating our efforts with Suncor, and understand the importance of getting back to full production.”

He agrees things should be back to normal by Nov. 19.