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Repair of DOMLEC’s damaged pipeline in Trafalgar 90 percent complete

Damaged pipeline in Trafalgar

Chief Operations Officer at the island’s sole electricity company Dominica Electricity Services (DOMLEC), Dave Stamp has announced that the company is 90 percent complete with repair of the damaged pipeline in Trafalgar. He made the announcement during DOMLEC’s progress update on Friday.

The pipeline was damaged on September 22 causing a reduction in electricity generation capacity at Trafalgar and its PADU Station. This development came amidst the ongoing challenges faced by residents and businesses due to frequent power outages, often referred to as “load shedding,” which have plagued the island for several months. DOMLEC attributes these issues to inadequate power generation capacity, an ageing diesel generation fleet, and reliance on equipment that has served the company for 37 years.

“We are over 90 percent complete with the repair of that pipeline as we hope to bring that pipeline back in service early in the coming week,” Stamp revealed.

He told customers that this pipeline, when the company has the maximum hydro capacity, accounts for over 5 megawatts of generating capacity.

“It’s a very valuable pipeline,” he noted.

According to Stamp, it is expected that with the reduced capacity, “we don’t think we will be able to get the maximum out of that.”

He said the company may need an additional 1 to 2 megawatts when the pipeline is back in service.

Furthermore, Stamp explained that ongoing works are being done in the river where a diversion is being created to facilitate the PADU Station.

Meanwhile, Stamp said as far as the maintenance of the hydro pipelines is concerned part of the focus of the hydro team is to check the pipelines on a regular basis.

“On a regular basis, at least once a year we have third-party consultants doing inspections on these pipelines…,” Stamp revealed.

He mentioned further that DOMLEC is in the process of putting some of the recommendations in place.

“But we need to understand that there are many miles of pipelines…,” he said.

He continued, “so there are times when there are areas that may have situations that we are not able to catch up on.”

Stamps added, “It just takes a rainfall or a flooding to cause an erosion in a particular spot and undermine the pipe support.”

He noted that the company’s job now is to go in to examine the situation and implement measures to prevent a recurrence.