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VitolVitol is one of the world’s largest international LPG traders. Our refrigerated long-haul business trades and moves in excess of 5 m tonnes of LPG per year covering each of the major global LPG markets, including Middle East, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the Caribbean, Vitol is currently developing a conversion to propane project for the Water and Power Authority in the US Virgin Islands. The project entails the supply of propane in conjunction with the design, construction and operation of the required infrastructure necessary to receive, store, vaporize, measure and deliver LPG in vaporized form to the inlet of each power turbine on the Islands of St Thomas and St Croix. Vitol is also managing the conversion of the turbines done by General Electric.

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Slide Presentation Transcript

Project Overview

On July 2013, WAPA signed a turnkey master agreement with Vitol Virgin Islands Corp. (Vitol) for infrastructure construction, supply, and delivery of propane at WAPA’s power plants on St. Thomas and St. Croix

  • Vitol is responsible for engineering, procurement, construction (EPC), and commissioning of the projects
  • Total project cost is approximately $91 million
  • To date, Vitol has committed approximately 54% of the project budget
  • All upfront costs are paid by Vitol. WAPA repays Vitol over 7 year amortization (option to repay in 5 years)
  • All-in cost will result in approximately 30% reduction in fuel costs
  • Will reduce NOx, SOx, and CO2 emissions
  • Target completion: 4th quarter of 2014

Health, Safety, and Security Considerations

Facilities carefully designed to ensure employees’ and the public’s health, safety, and protection

  • Best available safety and control technology
  • Employees will be fully trained on the operation and maintenance of the converted units, including all safety and hazard awareness required for the handling and use of propane
  • Coordination with local fire service and other first responders for awareness and input
  • VITEMA, with U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will conduct vulnerability assessment to ensure compliance with applicable federal and local mandates
  • Advanced safety and security drills will be conducted with WAPA and local emergency response organizations
  • VI Port Authority marine pilots have simulated navigation of feeder vessels to ensure safety of marine operations

Fire Safety Measures

WAPA is evaluating and developing a comprehensive approach to overall fire protection at the plant sites.

  • Comprehensive Fire Risk Assessment and Hazardous Area Classifications have been conducted
  • Emergency Response Plans for each facility; all existing applicable plans will be updated
  • Fire safety features planned for WAPA’s propane project will have 100% redundancy
  • Firefighting systems for the facilities will be National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) compliant, including a “water blanket” that will suppress a leak or flame. (see photos)
  • Facilities will be equipped with gas monitoring and leak detection systems

Propane Storage Tanks

Mounded storage tanks in New ZealandStorage tanks will be “mounded” - encased by layers of earth, sand, rock and gravel to maximize safety.

The benefits of mounded tanks include:

  • Significant protective barrier from external damage and fire
  • Elimination of oxygen, preventing uncontrolled ignition
  • Additional earthquake and hurricane protection

Public Awareness and Outreach Update

Ongoing contribution to support WAPA’s public education initiatives on the benefits of switching to propane

  • Master communications plan
  • Educational bill stuffers
  • Bi-lingual radio and internet public announcements
  • Project website:
  • PoweringVI Facebook page
  • PoweringVI YouTube channel
  • Briefings and engagement with community stakeholders
  • Continuous engagement with local media


Completed the Front End Engineering & Design (FEED) Phase

  • Determined acceptable by WAPA
  • Process Flow Diagrams (PFD’s), Process & Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID’s)
  • Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP)
    HAZOP: A systematic examination of a planned or existing process or operation in order to identify and evaluate problems that may represent risks to personnel or equipment, or prevent efficient operation.
  • Simulated navigation of feeder vessels into ports to assess safety and suitability
  • Identified all materials and equipment needed to complete project

Detailed engineering in progress

  • Engineering and design input for the various permit applications
  • Design survey for the routing of the gas lines within WAPA property
  • Advanced Operational Philosophy under further development