Theo signs building permit for SOL fuel storage tank

PJIA welcomes report as "excellent news"

St. Maarten’s Deputy Prime Minister Theo Heyliger, who is also in charge of Infrastructure, Tuesday signed the required building permit that would enable SOL to commence construction of its much awaited additional aviation fuel storage tank in Cay Bay.


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The news was received with excitement at Princess Juliana Int’l. Airport (PJIA), which has been forced to provide less than optimal service to its carriers as a result of intermittent fuel shortages by SOL, the supplier of aviation fuel to the airport.

The new storage tank will add to the limited storage facility currently in use by SOL, and will put both SOL and the airport in a better position should SOL face similar fueling challenges in the future.

"Hopefully this new tank in Cay Bay will bring the needed capacity for the upcoming season," Heyliger stated upon signing the permit.

The new storage tank would double SOL’s storage capacity to a total of 25,000 barrels and thus significantly ease the problems the supplier has been experiencing lately.

Shortage of aviation fuel has rocked the airport and the island’s aviation community in recent months, with the latest round coming during the weekend of February 18, 2012, when another stock-out took the airport by surprise.

"With the additional storage facility, we hope such unpleasant surprises will be a thing of the past," remarked PJIAE Managing Director Regina Labega, who called the signing of the building permit "excellent news."

She further reiterated that a Service Level Agreement, which includes performance standards, will be put in place with all PJIA suppliers, including those who supply jet fuel, as part of the measures that the airport is implementing to ensure adequate supply of fuel.

The construction of the additional storage facility is expected to take some six months.