Rankin Inlet gas outage ends after two days

Rankin Inlet has received a shipment of fuel, ending a two-day gasoline outage, Nunavut’s Department of Community and Government Services announced in a news release Tuesday.

The department asked residents to continue to conserve gas until the petroleum products division has the chance to offload the fuel, spokesperson Suleikha Duale said in the release.

Around 5 p.m. Tuesday, in an update CGS said the connection to the tanker had been made and offloading has begun.

“Retail sales are expected to resume as soon as a sufficient volume of gasoline has been transferred,” the release indicated.

In an interview, CGS Minister David Joanasie said high winds and ice were part of the reason why the hamlet wasn’t able to receive the shipment sooner.

He said Rankin Inlet will get about 20 million litres of ultra-low sulfur diesel, gasoline and Jet A fuel. Two to three million litres of that is gasoline, and will be offloaded first.

CGS has dealt with other fuel-related issues this year. In August, Pond Inlet, Grise Fiord, Resolute Bay and Arctic Bay were affected by fuel shortages.

“Our fuel resupply has been not ordinary,” Joanasie said.

“There’s been a few communities that have experienced either shortages or outages of fuel, and that has had kind of a bit of a domino effect, in essence, because there’s been either ships being diverted to other communities or that sort of thing.”

Joanasie said one factor has been the lack of storage availability in some communities and the ripple effect from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic drove down the use of gasoline, which affected the amount of fuel the GN ordered.

To prevent that from happening again, Joanasie said, the GN ordered 12 per cent more fuel for next year.

David Venn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Nunatsiaq News