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WAPA LPG Conversion Project Making Steady Progress

(Thursday, May 29, 2014)

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority announced that the LPG Conversion Projects on the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix continue to make significant progress. “We have now completed the demolition phase of the projects on both islands,” said Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge, Jr.” and are now moving to the construction phase.”

Thursday May 29, marked an historical milestone for the St. Thomas project. The Authority, along with Vitol and its subcontractor Grade All, successfully completed the final blast of the St. Thomas Grambakola hillside area on St. Thomas to accommodate the LPG storage terminal. Blasting on this site began on April 9. A total of 24 blasts, averaging 60 holes per blast have been conducted with 38,756 pounds of explosives. An estimated 46,000 cubic meters of materials, primarily rock, was excavated and removed from the site. The rocky material will be temporarily stored, crushed and returned to the site as fill during the construction phase.

On St. Croix, 11 structures were demolished, and approximately 9,000 cubic meters of soil was excavated and properly disposed to accommodate the terminal facility. A public sewer line crossing the construction site was also relocated to avoid service interruption. The activities in both districts have also been successfully completed on schedule, without incident, impact or disruption to ongoing WAPA operations of its generation facilities.

In addition, the first in a series of 18 storage tanks have been fabricated, tested, and prepared for shipment to St. Croix where they will be temporarily stored on the south shore. From this storage site, ten vessels, with a length of 53 meters and a diameter of 6.5 meters will be transported to the Randolph Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas. The other eight vessels, with a length of almost 48 meters, will be moved to the Estate Richmond Power Plant on St. Croix.

WAPA and Vitol are also pursuing the final site to accommodate the mooring of the Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) which will store the LPG for supply to the terminals. Additionally the Authority and Vitol are also finalizing the work scope and permitting strategy for the necessary upgrades and repairs to the existing docking facilities in both districts.

Executive Director Hodge, who on Thursday pushed the button to detonate the final explosives for the St. Thomas site, commended the Authority’s internal management staff led by Chief Operating Officer Gregory Rhymer, supported by Special Projects Director Vernon Alexander and Engineers Elisa Sanchez and Gabrielle Dore, for their expertise and management of the blasting and excavation activities. Director Hodge also thanked other WAPA support staff, Richard Elliott, Vitol’s onsite project manager, Vitol, VTTS, Grade All and Demex for the role they played in this phase of the project and their contribution to ensuring it was completed in a safe manner.