The move of a pair of 300-ton storage tanks from Crown Bay to their place above Krum Bay is now scheduled to take place Monday after being postponed Sunday due to heavy rains that hit St. Thomas over the weekend, V.I. Water and Power Authority officials announced.
The process will kick off around 6 a.m. Monday if the weather stays calm, WAPA said in a new release issued Sunday afternoon.
The first pair of LPG (liquefied propane gas) tanks came in by barge Saturday morning and while the ground was too wet to move them, WAPA, V.I. Port Authority and Mammoet – the heavy lifting and transport company from the Netherlands that initially moved the tanks to St. Croix and now over to St. Thomas – spent until the afternoon offloading them.
Mammoet project manager Raymond van der Haven said Saturday that while the process isn’t difficult, it does take some time to secure the tanks and move both them and the equipment needed to secure them on site from the barge to the shore.
“There hasn’t been any tide on St. Thomas, so that has made it a bit easier, and now I hope the weather holds up,” he said. “On Monday, we’ll work early to move the first tank that will be installed on site and the second will follow.”
A full assessment of the ground conditions Saturday morning prevented the tanks from continuing up the road to the propane installation facility located atop the hillside overlooking the Randolph Harley Power Plant.
“Friday afternoon and into the wee hours of Saturday morning, we experienced some heavy rains and as a result of that, we had severe flooding on the route leading into the plant that we did not anticipate,” WAPA Chief Operating Officer Gregory Rhymer said Sunday. “After we made an assessment of the roadways, we determined that the Saturday move would be cancelled and are now shooting for Monday. We have been checking some weather, and do anticipate additional showers Sunday night into Monday morning, but hopefully all goes well and we will try to continue then.”
In Sunday’s news release, WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. added that if the weather holds up, the authority has “every confidence that the installation will go off without a hitch.”
“We will take advantage of Monday’s holiday with reduced traffic flow in the area to move these huge tanks to the installation site,” Hodge said. “I strongly encourage anyone attempting to traverse through the Sub Base area while the tanks are being positioned to pay close attention to the directions of the posted flagmen and law enforcement officers that will be directing traffic during this operation.”
The two tanks are the first of 10 that are scheduled to be delivered to St. Thomas by the end of the month.
“This is history in the making here,” Rhymer added. “For decades, the V.I. Water and Power Authority has used fuel oil as its primary source of fuel – this is the first switch in the history of WAPA to another source. We are excited to be part of this and we expect signi