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Chek Lap Kok airport's £126M fully automatic high-tech fuel service facility is one of the world's largest 'on-airport' fuel receipt, storage and distribution systems.

'Informal monthly integrated team meetings enabled representatives of the Airport Authority, the fuel service franchise holder, the contractor and the designer to resolve problems early and avoid any significant conflicts,' says Scott Wilson Hong Kong construction manager, Mike Kay.

The 20 year fuel facility operation franchise at Chek Lap Kok was awarded to a consortium of oil companies and airlines, Aviation Fuel Supply Company in December 1995.

AFSC was also contracted to undertake the detailed design and construction of the facility as part of its franchise agreement. The initial planning and conceptual design had already been carried out by the Airport Authority and its consultants prior to inviting franchise bids in 1994.

During preparation of its bid, AFSC appointed Leighton Contractors Asia to undertake the detailed design and construction of the £126M facility and Scott Wilson Hong Kong was taken on to provide detailed design reviews and project management services.

Construction of the facility got under way in January 1996 says Kay. 'Piling difficulties were anticipated from the completely decomposed granite at the Sha Chau receiving facility, but in the event did not cause any major problems, and the 6km of submarine pipeline was laid in just six weeks.

'The installation of the 6km of onshore pipework should also have been straightforward, but because of the myriad of other construction contracts being carried out at the time on the island, it was not possible to construct the line continuously. Work areas were handed over on an ad-hoc basis, often as short as 50m in length.'

Completion of the onshore pipeline was delayed by five months, says Kay, but was not on the critical path of the programme.

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