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BIA push to boost jet fuel supply

MANAMA: Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), the operator of Bahrain International Airport (BIA), plans to appoint a fourth jet fuel distributor alongside the three existing distributors – Bapco, Chevron and British Petroleum – and a second into-plane operator at BIA in addition to Bahrain Aviation Fuelling Company (Bafco).

Transportation and Telecommunications Minister Kamal Ahmed said this was a part of plans to restructure the aviation sector in the kingdom, of which a key component was the new fuel farm complex.

He said it will play a key role in streamlining the aviation fuel supply, operations and maintenance at the airport.

Currently under development, the new fuel farm complex is expected to be ready by the third quarter this year and would cement the kingdom’s status as major regional aviation fuel services hub.

Housing three aviation fuel tanks with a capacity of 10,000 cubic metres each, the fuel farm complex covers 77,000 sqm, in addition to its dedicated operational buildings.

It is equipped with state-of-the-art safety and security features and latest aviation product handling technologies.

The farm will supply aircraft with fuel through 20 and 18-inch pipelines located below the airport runway.

“There are currently 38 airlines operating out of BIA and we expect this number to grow. The fuel farm, which is being built according to the highest international standards, will enable us to support the increased activity,” said Mr Ahmed.

“The objectives of the restructuring are to create a more competitive environment in the aviation fuel sector and to meet the needs of airlines more effectively.”

The farm is being developed by the BAC Jet Fuel Company (BJFCO) established as a joint venture company between BAC and the National Oil and Gas Authority in April 2016.

The project was initiated following directives from the leadership to relocate the airport’s fuel tanks from Arad to the north-east area of the airport.

BJFCO will also be responsible for the facility’s management and operations.

Yesterday’s statement follows an inspection visit to the project site by Mr Ahmed and Oil Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.

The ministers were briefed on the latest milestones of the project, which was launched in mid-2017, in the presence of BJFCO board members, representatives from BAC, engineering consultants Mott Macdonald, and main contractor Amana Pipeline Construction.

Shaikh Mohammed stressed the importance of completing the construction of the complex of aircraft fuel depots in a timely manner in accordance with the highest specifications and standards, and utilising the highest level of skill, knowledge and competency.

The two ministers also noted the milestone achievement of one million man hours without lost time accidents.

BJFCO chairman Abdul Majeed Al Qassab said the new complex will increase fuel storage capacity to 30,000 cubic metres, allowing the kingdom’s airport to handle larger aircraft volumes.



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