- to open farm at CJIA in October
By Zena Henry
Recognizing the importance of a growing aviation sector and the prospective need for aviation fuel, the state-owned Guyana Oil Company Limited (GUYOIL) is gearing to commence construction of its first ever fuel farm at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) next month.
The local company is seeking to complete the project within three months with hopes of commencing operations in the first week of October. GUYOIL’s Managing Director Badri Persaud told Kaieteur News yesterday that the project contract has already been signed and a visit to the site was completed last week Friday.
Persaud said, that since the company is already involved in the fuel business, it was recognized that an opportunity existed for them to become involved in the provision of aviation fuel.
A Senior Airport official explained that GUYOIL had expressed interest in building a fuel facility at the country’s largest airport. Currently, Rubis, an established international brand that distributes high quality products including petroleum and aviation fuels, LPG, and lubricants, is the sole provider of aviation fuel at CJIA.
One of the deterrents for foreign investors in the aviation sector is the cost of fuel, it was explained. This newspaper was told by the senior airport official that what seems to be the norm is that airlines would negotiate the price of fuel with the provider and pay based on what is agreed upon and the quantity.
It was explained that with Rubis holding the monopoly in this area, fuel cost is “a bit high” and it has been recognized that Guyana’s charges are, “somewhat higher than most of the countries in the region.” It is for this reason GUYOIL is getting into the business.
The official said that GUYOIL’s entry into the aviation fuel business is a welcomed one since competition will come in this area. Making reference to local aviation operator Air Services Limited’s state-of-the-art fuel farm at the Ogle Airport, it was noted that the entry of more than one fuel provider brought competition and reduced prices in fuel.
Head of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Zulphicar Mohamed said that the fuel company has already received the green light from the agency. He said that in this case, GCAA is tasked with certifying the operation and ensuring that safety standards are upheld.
The Cheddi Jagan International Airport is expected to take on several new airlines that will soon commence operations here in Guyana. Already some four airlines have come on board to service Guyana.
The airport is also undergoing major improvement works with the extension of the runway currently ongoing. Following this, upgrade work is expected to commence on the terminal itself.
CJIA’s Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Ghir has already expressed concern over the airport being able to keep up with the flow of traffic that is expected in a few weeks. He expressed support of the expansion of the international airport in order to accommodate the growth of the sector.
He had stated also that discussions were ongoing with a European airline interested in operating in Guyana; however, CJIA cannot accommodate any of the planes in the company’s fleet.