Propane tanks arrive in Virgin Islands for power generation project

August 4, 2014 By    

The U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) and Vitol Virgin Islands Corp. announced the arrival July 23 of eight empty LP gas storage tanks, with 10 more scheduled to follow in the coming weeks, as the islands convert from fuel oil to propane for their electrical power generation needs.

The tanks arrived, and will be temporarily staged, at the V.I. Port Authority’s south shore container port on St. Croix. The tanks will be barged to their final locations at the project sites at the St. Croix and St. Thomas generation stations once civil engineering is complete. Ten tanks will be installed on St. Thomas and eight on St. Croix.

The tanks will be encased in earthen and concrete “mounds,” storing propane onsite at the power plants on St. Thomas and St. Croix, according to WAPA.

The largest tank weighs 315 tons, with a length of 165 feet, a diameter of 18 feet and a height of 30 feet. The tanks were fabricated by Belgium-based Geldof Integrated Steel Solutions, a European supplier for the storage, handling and processing of bulk solids, liquids and gases. Once the project is complete, LP gas power generation is expected to consume about 250,000 tons of propane annually.

The $91 million project, which entails building the infrastructure, converting seven of WAPA’s GE turbines to burn propane, as well as supplying propane, is expected to reduce WAPA’s fuel cost by about 30 percent, or $90 million annually, according to a press release.

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