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.