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

Inquest into death of Jocelyn George postponed due to COVID-19

Coroner’s inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni woman was supposed to start July 6

Port Alberni’s Joe Hill celebrates 90th birthday with waves through a window

Retired accountant receives best wishes via Zoom, meets newborn great-grandchild

Alberni Golf Club reopens with new COVID-19 rules

J and L Mixed Scramble kicks off 2020 season

Help is available for Port Alberni businesses restarting after COVID-19 closures

Popular food truck finds a new location on Johnston Road

A LOOK BACK: recreation in Port Alberni’s downtown

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Valley Museum

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Most Read