SOL waiting for approval to build storage tanksPOSTED: 02/22/12 1:13 PM
St. Maarten – SOL Antilles NV is waiting for the approval of the local regulatory authorities to begin the construction of a 25,000 barrel storage tank at its Cole Bay terminal, said SOL General Manager David Antrobus. With the new tank built it will “lead to a substantial increase in the on-island jet fuel storage capacity,” said Antrobus.
In a release, it was stated that the interruption of the jet fuel supplies over the weekend at the Princess Juliana International Airport was as a direct result of the two fuel tankers to the island losing time on their respective voyages.
It was also stated that the first tanker arrived on Saturday immediately started discharging its fuel and according to the procedures it had to be sent for rectification by chartered aircraft to West Indies Oil facility in Antigua. Following the testing and based on positive results the fuel was released to airport on Sunday. The second tanker was expected to arrive yesterday morning around 6:00am.
He noted that the laboratories for testing fuel for all the Caribbean island are done either in twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago or in Antigua. Even though there is a lab in St. Eustatius it does not test Av Gas.
SOL Antilles NV has come under severe criticism for the situation with regard to the supplying of jet fuel and quite recently former Commissioner Michael Ferrier has called on government to find another supplier of aviation fuel to the island. This recent incident caused quite a stir at the airport last week since at least two major airlines had to be delayed due to the shortage of the fuel.