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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Seaweed snarls Dominican Republic’s biggest power plant

The energy group AES Dominicana affirmed Wednesday that a seaweed “invasion” dragged by Hurricane Irene along the Caribbean coast near its 319 megawatt power plant at Andres, Boca Chica, continuous piling up at the inflow water filters, forcing it to reduce its output.

It said its technical report notes that after Hurricane Irene passed south of the country, “the AES Andres power plant’s operating conditions were affected by the arrival of trash and marine alga at the water intake unit, which led to the obstruction of the power plant’s cooling system,” resulting in loss of generation.

In an emailed statement, AES said since August 23 a group of its technicians and contractors, including two teams of divers, work round the clock to return the plant to nominal operating conditions, by removing the flotsam.

“To expedite the cleanup work two brigades were added to dredge the channel, and a crane with a basket to remove the floating seaweed since August 30, it said, noting that it the situation should be under control by early Saturday, if conditions along the coast improve and the inflow of seaweed to the channel diminishes.

AES said the local media recently quoted Environment Ministry technicians on the “unusual” invasion of seaweed along the outhern coast , situation that has spread to the eastern zone.

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Source: Dominican Today

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