The AV Multiplex in Port Alberni. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

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

Cowichan Valley writer Jennifer Manuel will headlining YakFest on March 1. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Cowichan Valley writer to headline next YakFest on March 1

YakFest is a B.C.-based monthly women’s event held online via Zoom

The North Island College campus in Port Alberni is located on Roger Street. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
North Island College plans tourism networking event

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on Vancouver Island’s tourism industry

Members of Alberni Valley Rescue Squad were at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 to practice helicopter hover exit training with Ascent Helicopters out of Parksville. When executing a search in difficult terrain, it isn’t always possible to land a helicopter, so volunteer searchers must be certified in hover exits. (BILL MCLEOD/ Special to the AV News)
Alberni Valley Rescue Society receives much-needed $40K gaming grant

Bamfield volunteer fire department also funded

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The current exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre features paintings from the Community Arts Council’s permanent collection. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
ARTS AROUND: Last chance to join Alberni Valley artist guide

The guide will include local artists and a map

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read