GPL fuel spills into Demerara River
Works were continuous yesterday to contain and extract a large amount of fuel which spilled into the Demerara River yesterday behind the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) at Kingston.
The Fire Service, Countrywide Disposal Services and the Coast Guard were dispatched to assist with the containment and clean-up efforts.
Reports are that the spillage was the result of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) being transferred from one of GPL’s bulk tanks to another tank for a Wartsila generator located in the Kingston compound.
This rupture reportedly occurred from a pipeline during the transfer of fuel. It was estimated that almost 100 gallons leaked into the river.
On a visit to the scene yesterday, the HFO was being contained around the Kingston Power plant by barriers referred to as ‘oil booms.’
According to GPL’s Public Relations Officer, Shevion Sears-Murray, “at 10:00 hrs yesterday it was discovered that fuel was spilling whilst being transferred between a large storage tank to another at GPL’s Kingston generation compound. It is estimated that approximately one hundred gallons (three barrels) of fuel spilled, some of which escaped into the Demerara River.
“In keeping with the company’s safety, health and environmental policies and procedures, GPL’s personnel on site took swift action that led to containment of the fuel and avoided it from spreading,” the PRO stated.
“Fortunately, it was low tide and booms were to hand, which were promptly put in place to prevent the fuel from dispersing deep into the river. A prominent waste collection and disposal service entity, Countrywide Disposal Services, and the Coast Guard responded immediately. Almost all of the fuel was recovered. Special bio-degradable fuel dispersants are being used to clean up the small amounts remaining.”
GPL indicated that a thorough investigation is being conducted.(Rabindra Rooplall)