During an emergency meeting Tuesday, V.I. Water and Power Authority board members approved a $396,495 contract with Pro Mar Services that would allow for emergency repairs to their St. Thomas fuel dock in Krum Bay.
The dock was damaged earlier this month by a vessel delivering fuel to the Randolph Harley Power Plant. While the extent of the damage was not discussed during the meeting, a WAPA news release Tuesday night said the “dock sustained damage to the south breasting dolphin resulting in both lateral and vertical displacement of the concrete cap.”
The resulting damage included cracking of the concrete cap at several faces, pulling of the front tension piles out of the concrete cap and the breaking off of some of the bottom surface of the concrete cap surrounding the tension piles into the water, according to the release. During Tuesday’s meeting, WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. said an investigation is ongoing into what exactly happened and who is responsible.
The major thing, he added, is getting the repairs done as soon as possible so fuel deliveries can continue to St. Thomas. WAPA can use barges for smaller deliveries in the meantime but it is more economical to stick with the current system, since the vessels ship in 80,000 barrels of fuel at a time, Hodge said.
The critical nature of the repairs allows WAPA to begin work quickly with the contractor instead of going through the bidding process, which the authority’s attorney said could take between 30 to 60 days. Hodge said Pro Mar has done similar work in the territory with the V.I. Port Authority and West Indian Company Ltd., and has a “window” now in which to get the work done.
“They are very experienced in getting what we need done in the fastest possible time,” Hodge said. “They have a window right now that allows for the work to take place so we can move quickly, get them mobilized and finish the repairs.”
Hodge said the dock also has to be returned to its former condition before beginning more permanent modifications tied to WAPA’s ongoing propane conversion project.
Board members attending the meeting included Elizabeth Armstrong, Wayne Biggs, Donald Francois, Gerald Groner, Cheryl Boynes Jackson, Karl Knight, Noel Loftus and Wayne Biggs.