By Mike Puia
PLAN to relocate South Pacific Oil (SPO) fuel storage tanks in the heart of the city to somewhere outside the city is progressing well.
Chairman of the SPO board, Gideon Zoleveke, confirmed that the initiative to relocate their tanks has been in the making for some years now.
Mr Zoleveke said a committee has been tasked to deliver this plan for SPOL within the next three to five years.
He said the committee is working on evaluating land issues, costings and forecasting, viability and more.
Zoleveke said part of the committee’s task is to acquire the AE Oval and adjacent land from Mr.Abraham Eke where the new fuel farm will be located.
He said the next step for the committee is to finalise arrangement to access the sea front at Ranadi for bunkering purposes in order to discharge the fuel from ships to shore.
Zoleveke said management have already completed design work and negotiated possible material sources.
He confirmed their Engineering Department is on site preparing to oversee the building process with help from local and international contractors.
“SPOL is ready to move once all the above issues are sorted out,” Zoleveke said.
He said SPOL has set aside capital from annual profits to cater for this relocation exercise.
Zoleveke said this project is also similar to their other initiative for Noro in the Western province. Currently, SPO is acquiring the land.
He said the move to address SPOL’s national storage capacity will enhance national fuel holding security for the future.
“Investments are also strategic investments as SPOL looks at its national distribution and support services requirement in the 21st century,” Zoleveke said.
He said SPO plans to deliver bulk supply to the provinces so that Honiara prices are passed to the provinces with the hope it will stimulate economic activities throughout the country.
SPO believes the country’s expansion will benefit the company.