S hell Company of Cambodia has announced it will build a $3 million aircraft
refueling depot at Pochentong airport after the Royal Government gave
permission. The agreement is the result of two years of negotiations between the
company and officials from the previous and present
Shell's general manager Roger Ottenheym says work will
begin immediately and the project is due to be completed by August. It will
consist not only of two new 250 cubic metre storage tanks and aircraft refueling
equipment but also the installation of up to date fire fighting equipment and a
laboratory to monitor fuel quality to ensure it meets international
Ottenheym, a Dutchman, says the depot is an important step in
opening up the country to tourism.
Currently none of the airlines flying
international routes refuel at Pochentong due to the outdated
Refueling at Pochentong will enhance safety by cutting down
the amount of fuel aircraft have to carry and the weight saved can be used to
carry additional cargo, Mr Ottenheym said.
The aviation fuel will be
shipped to Sihanoukville and stored in Shell's new depot and then trucked up to
The laboratory will be capable of constantly monitoring the
quality of the fuel and detect impurities of dirt and water so that it will meet
international standards, Mr Ottenheym said.
The construction work will be
carried out by Chiyoda Singapore, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese
parent company using up to 100 workers.
The general manager of Thai
Airways in Cambodia Mr Chatchai Panyoo welcomed Shell's announcement. The
company's 148-seater Boeing 737s on the Bangkok-Phnom Penh route are full
practically every day and passengers are individually weighed for precise
calculations of how much cargo can be carried in addition to fuel for the
Mr Chatchai said: " We consider this good news for
us. It will give us the option of refueling at Phnom Penh. Whether this will be
done depends on several factors, particularly what rate Shell will be charging
for their fuel."
The director of maintenance for Cambodia International
odhi Valliappan said his airline was a likely customer.
operates its 737s at their maximum range of 3 1/2 hours flying time on their
Singapore and Hong Kong routes, with the aircraft only occasionally being topped
up at Pochentong.
Valliappan said: "If a proper operation is set up we
would fly on half full tanks. This would improve safety, save the company money
and allow us to carry additional cargo."
Ottenheym says Shell's next
project is a joint venture with the French company Colas and the Cambodian state
oil firm Companie Kampuchea des Carburants to build a plant to produce bitumen
The $1 million factory will be inside CKC's Phnom Penh
compound and the emulsions it will be producing are a big step forward in
road-making as they can be applied cold.