Inspectors are due to examine incinerator’s faulty generator

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FORENSIC inspectors could arrive in the Island within the next two weeks to determine whether the incinerator’s faulty generator – which has cost the Island hundreds of thousands of pounds – can be restarted.

Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis made the comments in the States yesterday following a question from Deputy Inna Gardiner about when repairs would be completed and how much they would cost.

The plant’s generator was shut in November after engineers discovered hairline cracks in its steam turbine. Up until the end of last year the fault had cost the government £325,000.

The power produced by the generator is usually sold to Jersey Electricity but instead energy has had to be bought to keep the plant running.

Deputy Lewis said: ‘The route cause of the cracks is not yet known and an independent turbine specialist has been contacted to assess the problem and advise on a solution. We would only be able to estimate the cost and time required to make repairs once the turbine specialist has completed their assessment.’

He added: ‘We do have some forensic inspectors, if you like, who will examine the minutiae of the generators, who are coming over this week or next week to give us the all-clear, hopefully.

‘We have had a provisional okay to start up but it will be at our own risk.

‘Obviously staff safety is paramount and we need to get the official all-clear from the forensic inspectors, which will also give comfort to our insurers.’

During the same sitting, St Martin Deputy and former Environment Minister Steve Luce claimed the energy-from-waste plant was almost half-way through its useful life.

He asked what work was being done to plan for an eventual replacement and questioned whether the Island could be left with an outdated and polluting plant – which he claimed was the case during the final years of the Bellozanne incinerator.

In response, Deputy Lewis said no plans had yet been drawn up but tried to reassure Members that the La Collette incinerator was considerably more environmentally friendly than its predecessor.

He added: ‘It is a very efficient plant. We get very few problems with it relative to the amount of throughput it does have. The gas cleaning system is the core of the whole system. All gases are cleaned prior to being emitted to the atmosphere.

‘You cannot see it, you cannot smell it and if you went up to the top of the chimney you could actually put your head down the chimney.

‘I am not recommending you do that but it is very clean when it comes out.’

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