Waimate District Fuel Plan Finalised
Following months of discussion and planning, the Waimate District Fuel Plan has now been finalised, culminating last week in a successful test of a service station running solely on a generator.
The generator, which will fire up in the rain, hail, wind and snow, will ensure continued access to fuel, providing a power source critical for the ground extraction of the fuel – keeping the district’s emergency services and civil defence operations running in all scenarios.
First identifying the concerning absence of a back-up power source in the regional fuel plan early last year, Waimate Civil Defence extended an offer to service stations in the local vicinity asking them to consider installing generator plug outlets at their business.
All stations responded with resounding enthusiasm, however funding restrictions limited the immediate expansion of the project, with the decision then made to start at the station with the largest fuel capacity – in this instance, Challenge Waimate.
Following months of planning, and COVID-based delays, the project was able to get back on track this month, with the first run-through test getting underway last week (12 October).
With the main power supply switched off, the generator kicked in within seconds and provided more than sufficient power to keep the garage operating at standard capacity.
Throughout the test, several customers continued to use the fuel pumps, the shop and garage remained in full use and all the computers and technology continued to function.
Commenting on the new addition to the township, Civil Defence Waimate Controller Mike Downes said it was a great result to get the first service station equipped and ready for action in an emergency, in turn increasing community resilience.
“It was definitely something we needed in the area and it’s great to see it all up and going,” Downes said.
“It’s certainly taken some time to get to where we are, but this is wonderful to see. The public are still coming through and using the pumps as they normally would, and for them not to be noticing anything different, that’s the real acid test.”
In line with the district’s fuel plan, another service station will now be in the queue for generator plugs to be installed at their property, with a future plan to have other stations fully equipped and ready to respond in an emergency.
With limited funding available to continue expanding the project, the next fuel station will now be prioritised based on their overall capacity and location.
The generator, supplied by Council, will be stored off-site and will only be available on demand at the request of Civil Defence.