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WAPA HOPES TO FLIP SWITCH ON PROPANE FOR ST. CROIX IN JULY

WAPA

CHRISTIANSTED – The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) secured a key permit May 20 necessary to move forward with a mid-July commissioning of a St Croix power plant conversion project that will use propane as its feedstock.

WAPA said it filed for the marine work permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on St Croix in December 2013. But a permit necessary to move forward on a sister project at St Thomas is still pending.

The marine work needed to bring online the Estate Richmond power plant at St Croix should be completed sometime in early July, WAPA executive director Hugo Hodge said.

The marine loading arm that was installed at the Estate Richmond’s plant fuel dock was to be tested this month.

“A nitrogen generator will arrive in June,” WAPA COO Gregory Rhymer said. “We will commence hydro testing and nitrogen purging of the various systems. The control room will be energized on June 1 and the automation systems will be loaded and tested in June as well.”

WAPA expects a large cargo ship carrying propane will arrive in the Virgin Islands in the first days of July. The vessel, originally commissioned for the St Thomas power plant, will be placed in a temporary anchoring site pending the second Army Corps of Engineers permit.

The island of St. Croix was left without electricity for an unprecedented 12 hours in April affecting an estimated 15,000 customers. At that time, WAPA spokeswoman Jean Grieux declined to give a specific number, saying that it was “Carnival time.”

 

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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