South Pacific Oil Pays Relocation Site
The South Pacific Oil Limited (SPOL) has paid off its land at Ranadi where it plans to relocate to in the future.
Chairman of the SPOL Board and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, Riley Mespitu told the local media recently.
Mr Mespitu said the land was purchased in 2007, in 2011 it purchased additional land next to it as the previous land bought couldn’t accommodate the fuel terminal.
“Both land purchases were up to the high-water mark area, the ministry of lands however later sub-divided the seabed in 2011 and sold it to third parties, this blocked South Pacific Oil access to the sea,” Mr Mesepitu said.
Negotiations are currently ongoing with the owner of the seabed as SPOL cannot lay its pipes to access fuel from the ships.
Mr Mesepitu said work on fuel storage tanks were tenured and given the approval to proceed by the SPOL board in 2019.
However, the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic has put the project on halt.
“The project has been reviewed after the country opened its international borders, now we are in the stage of finalizing the project award to the contractor, by mid-June we hope to award the contract and work on the project can start,” Mr Mesepitu said.
The project is expected to be completed over a five-year period.
Relocating the terminal will allow fuel prices to be maintained at a reasonable level including minimum disruption to the fuel supply chain.
“The relocation project allows for consumer prices to be at the same cost level, as the cost depreciated over a longer period, non-disruption of fuel supply as fuel tanks at Point-Cruz will be relocated to Ranadi, training of human resource to manage the two facilities during the transition phase and project will double the existing capacities so that there is fuel security in the country for up to three months,” Mr Mespitu said.
The new terminal once completed will increase the country’s fuel storage from 11 million liters to 30 million liters.
The project cost is expected to be around SBD 130 million dollars.
SPO is fully owned by the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund after it purchased Shell Pacific’s business and assets in the country in 2006.
By Sharon Nanau