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Steve Lane Manages Start-up Of New Cambodian Dredging Company

At the dredge christening party on May 10 in the courtyard of the new office are, from left, a guest, Rick Wilmot, company owner Sok Hong, and managing director Steve Lane. Members of the dredge crew are at the tables in the background.

At the dredge christening party on May 10 in the courtyard of the new office are, from left, a guest, Rick Wilmot, company owner Sok Hong, and managing director Steve Lane. Members of the dredge crew are at the tables in the background.

This boat is the home of a typical Cambodian fishing family that stopped to sell fish to the dredge crew. The father is in the bow and the mother and daughter are cleaning the day’s catch in the center of the boat.

This boat is the home of a typical Cambodian fishing family that stopped to sell fish to the dredge crew. The father is in the bow and the mother and daughter are cleaning the day’s catch in the center of the boat.

The newly-constructed HSC building in Phnom Penh, which opened on May 10.

The newly-constructed HSC building in Phnom Penh, which opened on May 10.

The dredge is moored next to the floating pipeline and 16-inch dredge owned by the container port.

The dredge is moored next to the floating pipeline and 16-inch dredge owned by the container port.

This tender tug is used to shuttle the crew and to tend the pontoon line.

This tender tug is used to shuttle the crew and to tend the pontoon line.

Seven kilometers of pipeline stacked and ready for delivery to Cambodia from the factory in China.

Seven kilometers of pipeline stacked and ready for delivery to Cambodia from the factory in China.

1 of 4. All systems have been refurbished and tested, with upgrades performed in many areas. From top, the engine room, the hull pump, the ladder pump and the ladder winches.

1 of 4. All systems have been refurbished and tested, with upgrades performed in many areas. From top, the engine room, the hull pump, the ladder pump and the ladder winches.

2 of 4. All systems have been refurbished and tested, with upgrades performed in many areas. From top, the engine room, the hull pump, the ladder pump and the ladder winches.

2 of 4. All systems have been refurbished and tested, with upgrades performed in many areas. From top, the engine room, the hull pump, the ladder pump and the ladder winches.

3 of 4. All systems have been refurbished and tested, with upgrades performed in many areas. From top, the engine room, the hull pump, the ladder pump and the ladder winches.

3 of 4. All systems have been refurbished and tested, with upgrades performed in many areas. From top, the engine room, the hull pump, the ladder pump and the ladder winches.

4 of 4. All systems have been refurbished and tested, with upgrades performed in many areas. From top, the engine room, the hull pump, the ladder pump and the ladder winches.

4 of 4. All systems have been refurbished and tested, with upgrades performed in many areas. From top, the engine room, the hull pump, the ladder pump and the ladder winches.

Steve Lane is managing director of HSC, a new dredging company in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Formerly vice president of Weeks Marine’s dredging division operations, Lane is directing the renovation of a U.S. dredge purchased from Renda Marine by HSC owner and chairman of the board Sok Hong.

Company offices were opened in Phnom Penh on May 10th of this year.

The dredge Millennium, along with three tender tugs and an anchor barge were purchased from Renda Marine and shipped from Tampa, Florida to Cambodia. The company no longer calls the dredge the Millennium; they just call it the dredge, said Lane.

Lane was hired to manage the repairs and commissioning of the dredge including crew training. He arrived in Cambodia March 17, 2007, and after a couple of months was given the position of managing director for the new start-up company. He works with two interpreters to communicate with the Cambodian citizens on the job, including the project staff and dredge crew. Rick Wilmot, technical manager, is an American also formerly with Weeks Marine. The captain and chief engineer are also Americans.

The dredge was idle and neglected for several years before arriving in Cambodia, and has been completely blasted and painted inside and out. All systems have been refurbished and tested, with upgrades performed in many areas, said Lane.

In May, seven kilometers of steel pipeline and dredge hose were delivered from China.

“I was the first in the U.S. to buy dredge hoses from China, when working for Weeks Marine, in 2003”, said Lane. “When I arrived at the hose factory in Dan Yang, China this year, after seeing their product, I realized they were the same factory that built the hoses I ordered for Weeks. Small world we live in,” he said.

The pontoon tanks were built in Cambodia, and the line anchors were built from the shipping beams the dredge was shipped on.

As soon as the equipment is operating, the company will begin on an 11 million-cubic-meter land reclamation project, mining the sand from the Mekong River. The dredge was moved on location July 11, 2007 and was scheduled to begin work about 10 days after that.

“The government allows borrowing sand as long as one stays a certain distance from the shoreline,” said Lane. “The borrowed area fills back in during the high water season. Our plan is to borrow enough material for the project within 1.5 kilometers of the shore landing.”

He reports that Phnom Penh is a booming city experiencing rapid growth. The people of Cambodia are friendly and helpful. Communicating away from work is not a problem, and that most popular restaurants have English menus and English-speaking staff.

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