Rehabilitation of VINLEC hydro stations progressing
March 7, 2014

Rehabilitation of VINLEC hydro stations progressing

Rehabilitation work at VINLEC’s hydro stations which were damaged during the December trough system is progressing well, the company said Wednesday in a release.{{more}}

The company’s hydro infrastructure suffered extensive damage from flood waters on December 24, 2013.

Vinlec said that, at present, only one station at the Cumberland Power Plant, which consists of three run of the river stations, is functional. The Cumberland 1 station was recommissioned in January and has been operating at full capacity for the past six weeks.

The company said work to rebuild a section of the woodstave pipeline at Cumberland 3 is ongoing and should be completed by mid-March. Upon completion, it is anticipated that electricity production at that station will recommence.

At the Cumberland 2 (Spring Village) station, the electrical and mechanical equipment have been cleaned and inspected and clean-up of operations at the station compound has been completed. At the moment, the normal annual overhaul of the turbines and generators is being done, the company said.

The demolition of the Anchor Block on the pipeline is ongoing and work to rebuild a new one will commence shortly after the demolition process is completed. A damaged section of the pipeline is to be rebuilt and this is expected to be completed shortly, it added.

The company said it is working towards having all of the stations at the Cumberland plant operational by April of this year.

VINLEC is also working towards the recommissioning of the South Rivers Power Plant, following a pipeline failure during an earlier attempt. The switchgear at the station was damaged because of flooding from the broken pipeline, it said.

The company’s technical team was able to complete repair work on the equipment and overhaul the turbines at the station. However, work to repair the pipeline is ongoing and should be completed by the end of this week. Upon completion, another attempt will be made to restore operations at South Rivers.

Meanwhile, sections of the damaged pipeline at the Richmond location have been dismantled in preparation for repair work. The company is evaluating various options for rebuilding the severely damaged infrastructure. VINLEC is also currently making the necessary arrangements to commence clean-up operations at the intake during this month. The company is also using the opportunity to upgrade the turbines and generators at the Richmond station during this down period. This work is part of an earlier plan to upgrade the station.

VINLEC said it is working towards having all rehabilitation work completed by the end of 2014, so that the company can have its hydro operations fully functional.

VINLEC’s hydroelectric facilities traditionally contribute an average of 18-20 per cent of the electricity generated annually.

The company is currently subsidizing the fuel surcharge rate in the absence of its hydroelectric plants. In February, VINLEC’s subsidy to the fuel surcharge rate was 11.76 cents per unit, a total value of 1.3 million EC dollars.