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Nov. 5, 2019 – Gas Leak closes Multiplex (+updates)

 

Nov. 5, 2019 – ADVISORY: Due to a low-level ammonia leak detected in the Multiplex’s ice plant refrigeration system, all programs and services at the Multiplex have been cancelled and the facility will remain closed until further notice.

City Shuts Down Multiplex Due to Low-level Ammonia Leak

MEDIA RELEASE – from City of Port Alberni

Submitted by aliciap on Nov 5 2019 – 6:37 pm  Port Alberni, BC

Due to a low-level ammonia leak detected in the Multiplex’s ice plant refrigeration system, all programs and services at the Multiplex have been cancelled and the facility will remain closed until further notice.

Accent Refrigeration Systems, the company responsible for the City’s ice plant maintenance, is on-site and has located the leak in a weld on a manufactured flange in the piping system.

The City is working closely with Accent Refrigeration, WorkSafe BC and Technical Safety BC, to address the leak in a safe and timely manner; however, out of concern for public safety, Technical Safety BC has issued an order that the Multiplex ice plant be deactivated resulting in the closure.

The City anticipates the closure to last approximately one week or longer.

“The City of Port Alberni takes its responsibility of being prepared for ammonia leaks in its facilities very seriously and staff followed the appropriate procedures to ensure everyone’s safety,” said Tim Pley, Chief Administrative Officer with the City of Port Alberni. “While it is unfortunate knowing that this shutdown will impact so many user groups at the Multiplex, the City supports Technical Safety BC’s decision in the interest of everyone’s safety.

The City will continue to do everything in its power to repair the leak efficiently so programs and services at the Multiplex may resume.”

The City is reaching out to Multiplex user groups to advise them of the shutdown and will work with those affected to mitigate the impacts of the service interruption.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Tim Pley
CAO, City of Port Alberni
250-720-2824
timothy_pley@portalberni.ca

https://www.portalberni.ca/news/november-5-2019-637pm/city-shuts-down-multiplex-due-low-level-ammonia-leak


UPDATE: Nov. 6, 2019 2:45 pm – Alberni Valley News

UPDATE: New ice plant failure forces closure of Alberni Valley Multiplex

Port Alberni’s hockey rink has been shut down indefinitely due to an ammonia leak in its brand new ice plant refrigeration system.
The city included funding in this year’s budget to help replace the Alberni Valley Multiplex’s almost 20-year-old ice plant chiller—a project that had been on the books for a couple of years. The new ice plant was installed in April.

However, on Sunday, Nov. 3, a low-level alarm was activated, meaning 25 ppm of ammonia had been detected in the refrigeration system. Accent Refrigeration Systems, the company responsible for ice plant maintenance, located a leak in a weld on a manufactured flange in the piping system.
City CAO Tim Pley admits that it is “somewhat frustrating” to have the failure come up so soon after replacing the chiller.
“We had been so proactive in changing it and making sure no service groups were disrupted,” he said.
Although the alarm was activated on Sunday, the multiplex was not shut down until Tuesday. Pley explained that a low-level warning does not require evacuation.

“[The alarm] never reached the high threshold,” said Pley. “It took longer than anybody expected to locate the leak.”
But Technical Safety BC issued an order that the multiplex ice plant be deactivated while the leak is repaired. Because of this, the Multiplex will be closed to all programs and services—including hockey games.
The BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs were scheduled to play two home games this weekend against the Coquitlam Express and the West Kelowna Warriors. In addition, the Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association (AVMHA) was scheduled to host its annual Midget Rep Tournament over the weekend.

The Bulldogs announced on Wednesday that the club is “optimistic” that Friday and Saturday’s home games will go ahead as planned.
“Public and player safety are our top priority and if the situation changes, we will update everyone immediately and make arrangements with the GO BCHL league office to reschedule these games,” added Bulldogs president David Michaud.
The club has stated that it will make “an official announcement” once a final decision has been made.
Pley said that there is a chance that the Bulldogs and AVMHA will be able to play this weekend, but it depends on the condition of the ice after the shutdown.
“There’s a chance we’ll be able to effect repairs and get the order lifted before the ice fails,” he said. “If there are no unforeseen challenges, we may be able to get that order lifted by today or tomorrow.”
He added that it’s “more likely” the ice will fail and break apart while the cooler is shut down. If this happens, the ice will have to be removed and new ice will be made—a process that takes about a week.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com


Nov. 7, 2019 – UPDATE from City of Port Alberni – 1:23 pm

https://www.portalberni.ca/news/november-7-2019-123pm/alberni-valley-multiplex-shut-down-until-further-notice

Alberni Valley Multiplex Shut Down Until Further Notice

Media Release – Nov 7 2019 – 1:23pm.

Technical Safety BC has ordered that the Alberni Valley Multiplex remain closed until further notice.

City staff, contractors and Technical Safety BC inspectors worked through the evening of November 6th and into the early morning of November 7th to repair what is now classified as a cracked weld on a manufactured flange. After the crack was repaired, while conducting a pre-service pressure test of the system, a second crack was discovered.

“It is disappointing to see the Multiplex close during its peak season,” said Tim Pley, Chief Administrative Officer with the City of Port Alberni. “The City was proactive in replacing the Multiplex’s aging ice plant and to be faced with a closure in the new system’s first year of service is frustrating. However, the public’s safety is the City’s top priority.”

The Alberni Valley Multiplex will remain closed pending further testing and repair of the ice plant’s refrigeration system. Due to the time required to re-install ice in the Multiplex’s two rinks, the facility closure is expected to last a minimum of one week and possibly longer depending on the outcome of testing and repair of the system.

“The City of Port Alberni regrets the inconvenience that this service interruption has caused. We thank those affected for their patience and understanding while we work to repair the system in a safe and timely way,” concluded Mr. Pley.
The low-level ammonia leak was first detected on Sunday, November 3rd. The City’s qualified recreation facility staff has been working around the clock with Technical Safety BC, WorkSafe BC and Accent Refrigeration Systems to address the problems to get the facility up and running as soon as possible.

The City’s new ice plant system was installed in April 2019 and is under a ten-year warranty.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Tim Pley
CAO, City of Port Alberni
250-720-2824
timothy_pley@portalberni.ca


Second crack discovered in Alberni arena’s new ice plant

Facility closure now indefinite; minor hockey tournament, BCHL games cancelled

Susie Quinn Nov. 7, 2019 3:03 p.m. – Alberni Valley News

A second crack has been discovered in the new ice plant refrigeration system at the Alberni Valley Multiplex, and Technical Safety BC has ordered that the facility remain closed until further notice.

City of Port Alberni staff, contractors and Technical Safety BC inspectors worked through the night Nov. 6 to repair the original crack. It wasn’t until a pre-service pressure test of the system was conducted early on Thursday, Nov. 7 that the second crack was detected.

“It is disappointing to see the Multiplex close during its peak season,” said Tim Pley, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the City of Port Alberni.

“The City was proactive in replacing the Multiplex’s aging ice plant and to be faced with a closure in the new system’s first year of service is frustrating. However, the public’s safety is the city’s top priority.”

The city installed a new ice plant in April, replacing its 20-year-old chiller. A leak in a weld on a manufactured flange in the piping system was discovered earlier this week.
The problem has since been classified as a cracked weld on the flange, according to the city.

The leak was first detected on Sunday, Nov. 3 while Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association players were using the rink. Pley said they weren’t in any danger, as the alarm was for a low-level leak, so the decision was made to allow the players to finish their session before the ice was covered.

“We were never in an evacuation situation,” he said. “Nobody was ever at any risk.”
The news was made public on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The Multiplex will remain closed pending further testing and repair of the ice plant’s refrigeration system. Due to the time required to re-install ice in the two rinks, the facility closure is expected to last a minimum of one week and possibly longer depending on the outcome of testing.
The news forced cancellation of the AVMHA’s midget rep Bulldogs’ hockey tournament scheduled for this weekend as well as two Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Jr. A home games.

“Right now we’re trying to support the Bulldogs’ home game Nov. 15 (and Nov. 17),” Pley said. Usually it’s an eight-day turnaround to get the ice in.”
If the city doesn’t receive permission to start the ice chiller by Sunday (Nov. 10), the next weekend’s games will have to be postponed. It is the Bulldogs’ parents’ weekend Nov. 15, where players’ travel from their hometowns to come and watch their sons play.

“If we’re not up and running by Sunday we won’t be ready for Nov. 15,” Pley said.

Although AVMHA and the Bulldogs are the major user groups affected, Pley said seniors’ and women’s hockey teams and figure skating groups have also been adversely affected by the closure. The city’s recreation programmers are looking at future scheduling to see how they can accommodate these groups. While December’s Winter Wonderland public skating event hasn’t been affected yet, Pley said it’s a consideration.

“Depending on how long the closure goes, it doesn’t look like it’s going to go into Winter Wonderland,” but the city is looking at whether they need to curtail Winter Wonderland dates in order for user groups to catch up.

The new ice plant is under a 10-year warranty, but Pley said the city will likely open an insurance claim for the incident depending on what exactly is covered under the warranty. He said he isn’t sure whether the city is liable for costs associated with cancellation of events such as the AVMHA tournament and BCHL Bulldogs’ games.

“We haven’t consulted the rental agreements yet,” he said. “To be honest, we’ve been flat out managing the closure and trying to get back online.”

susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Second crack discovered in Alberni arena’s new ice plant

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