Brac still in dark over tainted fuel

Cayman Brac will have to wait a little longer to find out why it lost its power overnight earlier his month as samples of contaminated diesel are making their slow way to Miami for testing.

Jonathan Tibbetts, general manager of Cayman Power and Light, had originally thought tests of the samples would be ready this week, but the nine quarts of sample diesel is still on a journey to a testing facility in the United States.

‘They don’t allow fuel to be carried by plane, so the samples have to go by ship. It’s going to take longer than expected,’ Mr. Tibbetts said.

Tainted diesel is believed to be responsible for the power outage that lasted about 15 hours across the island from night of 31 March to the afternoon of 1 April.

Mr. Tibbetts said Texaco, which supplied the diesel, had also done some preliminary testing, but the equipment needed to carry out evaporation tests that would determine the type and amount of other fuel that found its way into the diesel was not available in the Cayman Islands.

‘We don’t know if it was gasoline or not that was in with the diesel,’ Mr. Tibbetts said.

A total of nine quarts of diesel taken over seven-day period following the breakdown has been sent to a testing facility in Miami, he said. The samples arrived in Grand Cayman earlier this week and are now being transported by ship to Miami.

The contamination affected 20,000 gallons of fuel and cost the power company $100,000 because it had to replace 12 fuel injectors.

The tainted diesel caused three fuel injectors to seize up and all 12 of the injectors had to be shut down and replaced with a supply sent on Cayman Airways Express by CUC.