Caltex has announced that, as a safety measure, and to ensure maintenance of product quality, diesel delivered to some service stations in Sydney and some regional areas in NSW since Tuesday has been quarantined from sale.
Some of the diesel supplied from the joint Mobil Caltex distribution terminal at Silverwater has a mix of unleaded petrol with the diesel.
Actions were undertaken immediately following the discovery of the incident. All service stations and other wholesale customers who had received the contaminated product are being identified and advised not to sell it.
Samples for testing will be taken from the locations where the product has been delivered. The testing will determine whether the product at each site has been contaminated or not.
If the tests show the product is not contaminated, the site will be advised immediately that it can resume sales of the diesel. If the product is contaminated remedial action will be taken as quickly as possible to allow the site to resume sales.
No petrol has been affected by the incident.
Diesel sales at more than 80 service stations in the Sydney area have been suspended as a result of the incident. The sites include those with the Caltex, Ampol and Woolworths brands. There are also resellers distributing to country areas affected.
Adequate bulk supplies of on-specification diesel are available from Caltex's Banksmeadow terminal and supply is expected to be resumed from the Silverwater terminal later today.
The contamination has caused the flash point of the diesel to be lower that the regulated standard in at least some of the product that has been sold from the terminal.
Use of the product is unlikely to affect diesel engines, however because of its higher flammability as a precaution the product needs to be handled carefully.
Customers who have bought diesel from any of the sites for use in machinery are advised not to handle or use the product until it has been tested to determine whether it contaminated. Customers who have purchased contaminated product and filled vehicles are advised that it is safe to continue to drive using the product.
Caltex is compiling a list of all the service stations that have received the contaminated product and will publish the list on its web site www.caltex.com.au along with advice on customer management of potentially contaminated diesel.
The Caltex customer feedback line telephone number for customer inquiries is 1800 240 398.