VITEMA Director Mona Barnes, earlier this month, conducted a site visit of the VI Water and Power Authority’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage and delivery system located at the utility’s Richmond Terminal on St. Croix.
General Manager Marlen Figueira and Safety Officer Bryan Crothers provided Barnes and members of her staff with an overview of the LPG system operations, from receiving the LPG shipment and discharging it to a storage terminal, to the vaporization process and supplying LPG to power WAPA’s generating unit. Barnes also received an overview of the site’s safety and security measures.
On Oct. 22, WAPA and its propane conversion contractor, VITOL, received the first inventory of LPG bringing the two-year conversion project closer to completion. The load of LPG is being tested and commissioned the storage and delivery systems before being introduced to WAPA’s generating units to generate electricity.
“I have a level of comfort that the VI Water and Power Authority and its contractor VITOL are doing all they can to ensure the safety of workers and the surrounding community in the event of a major incident or accident,” Barnes said after the site visit. “We looked at their emergency notification protocols, the alarm system, the fire evacuation plan as well as the equipment and how its design to warn if there is a leakage or some other malfunction.”
“No plan is full-proof but they have taken the necessary steps,” Barnes said.
The arrival of the initial shipment of LPG to St. Croix followed an on-site inspection and demonstration of the fire protection system in and around the LPG terminal. WAPA brought in officials of the VI Fire Services to demonstrate the extensive and redundant firefighting systems that are in place on the site. Fire inspectors, firefighters and others were on hand to watch the simulated activation of the fire detection and firefighting systems.
While the St. Croix terminal project moves closer to completion, WAPA is also working to bring the St. Thomas terminal on line.