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Tuesday 25 February 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji –
SPC alerted the Cook Islands government to the fact that a shipment of imported diesel fuel had high sulphur content that could have caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to diesel engines.
Officials of the Government of Cook Islands sought assistance from SPC's Petroleum Advisory Service to check that the different suppliers of the diesel fuel imported into their country complied with their national fuel specifications.
After investigating the matter, the SPC Petroleum Advisory Service advised the Cook Islands government that some of the imported diesel fuel had a sulphur content that was more than 100 times higher than the maximum accepted level of 50 parts per million (ppm).
On the strength of SPC's advice, the Cook Islands government took measures to ensure that the offending fuel was suspended from sale to the domestic transport sector. The company involved was obliged to advise their customers to stop using their fuel until a new, low sulphur shipment arrived.