The AV Multiplex in Port Alberni. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

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

Ice plant was installed in April

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.

READ MORE: Port Alberni council looking at nearly 4 percent tax increase for 2019

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.

RELATED: Ammonia leak triggers evacuation of Island hockey arena

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

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Alberni packs 500 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes in 2019

Worldwide distribution begins for annual humanitarian aid campaign

BCHL: Comeback falls short for Alberni Valley Bulldogs

Visiting Langley Rivermen take the 3-2 win on Parents Weekend

Alberni floor curlers win tournament in Nanoose Bay

Four teams from Port Alberni compete on the road

Award-winning documentary shares the modern story of Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Broadcast premiere of documentary will take place in Port Alberni on Jan. 29

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read