Remaining major work of VIA fuel farm commences

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has concluded work on the fuel tanks being installed at Velana International Airport (VIA), and are continuing with the remaining major work of the 'Fuel Farm' being established at the airport.

According to the MACL, the piling work on a 'working platform' and a 'fire-fighting platform' to complete the fuel jetty is currently ongoing. The foundation of the fuel farm office and maintenance workshop had also been laid, said MACL.

MACL began construction of the Fuel Farm during April last year. The fuel farm is the most important aspect of the airport development project. The installation of fuel tanks to store fuel at the farm was concluded this August.

The project was contracted to China's Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG).

Part one of the farm has three fuel tanks, and is designed in such a way that additional tanks can be added if necessary. While the current fuel storage capacity of the entire airport is 15,000 metric tonnes, the same amount can be stored in each fuel tank in the farm.

With each tank having a height of 44 feet and circumference of 121 feet, the fuel storage capacity at the airport would reach 45,000 metric tonne by the end of the project.

Under this project, an 8.4 kilometer 'Fuel Hydrant' has been installed under the airport to fuel aircraft. After the system is implemented, fuel trucks will no longer be needed to fuel aircraft.

BUCG is also developing a 3400-meter long runway under the project. In addition to this, they are also developing a cargo protecting facility. However, the new passenger terminal is being handled by the Saudi Binladin Group.

The entire project is presumed to cost $373 million. The government's entire VIA development project is estimated to cost over $800 million.