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Fire hits Cane Hall power station

Fire hits Cane Hall power station

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A fire hit VINLEC, the lone electricity provider in the country, this week, causing some loss of service to a generating unit.

The company Wednesday morning issued a release, which sought to reassure customers, that “special care will be taken so as not to interrupt power to the main business centers and areas of high industrial activity.”

The blaze erupted around 11:15 last Tuesday evening at the Cane Hall Power plant, the main power generating plant on the island.{{more}}

Employees on the night shift observed the fire and quickly alerted the Fire Services of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

Reaction to the fire was swift both from the Fire Service and Vinlec staff. Soon after arriving at the site, fire fighters extinguished the burning diesel fuel thus averting further damage to the installations.

According to VINLEC’s Chief Executive Officer Thornley Myers, while auxiliary facilities had been damaged “the main engine and generator of these two units have not been affected.”

However, Myers said VINLEC staff were “assessing and doing repair work” and he expects that the company would be without these two generating units.

Myers praised his staff for their vigilance and he also commended the Fire Service for their “tremendous efforts” which he said “averted a potentially catastrophic situation for the St. Vincent Electricity Services and the country.”

The fire came at most critical time for the company as according to Myers, “the loss of service of two of the company’s base load generating units along with a third that is unavailable would stretch the company’s generating capacity to meet customers’ demands at specific periods.”

The VINLEC chief executive officer said, “This may imply the need for the company to undertake load shedding activities.”

The company however assured the public that “this will only be done if it becomes absolutely necessary.”

Myers in the company release pointed out that “special care will be taken so as not to interrupt power to the main business centers and areas of high industrial activity.”

VINLEC is at present constructing a $23 million dollar power-generating plant at Lowman’s Bay, which will reduce the present dependence on the Cane Hall Facility when completed. The company however has informed that even after the commissioning of the new facility, the Cane Hall Plant would remain operational.

VINLEC uses both diesel fuel and hydro to generate power for its ten generating stations located at Richmond (1), South Rivers (1), Cane Hall (1), the Grenadines (4) and Cumberland (3).