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Several weeks before incinerator back online

Boiler No. 2 shut down Jan. 27; Boiler No. 1 has been down since early February

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Durham staff say the Durham York Energy Centre won’t be fully back online until the end of this month. Shutdowns started at the end of January for unexpected repairs.

By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

Following shut downs that began at the end of January, it is not expected the Durham York Energy Centre will be fully online again until the end of this month.

That’s according to Mirka Januszkiewicz, the region’s director of waste management, who told regional councillors at a meeting of the committee of the whole that while work is expected to be completed on one of the incinerator’s boilers soon, the other one is still several weeks away.

“The update I received from Covanta indicated they are doing the final refurbishment of Boiler No. 2 and they are preparing to start it in a week,” she said.

“Boiler No. 1, they are hoping to be commissioning at the end of March.”

Boiler No. 2 was the first to be taken offline, with Covanta – the incinerator’s operator – shut it down unexpectedly on the evening of Jan. 27 for repairs that were initially slated to take three days.

However, further inspection of that boiler has lead to annual maintenance originally scheduled for March brought forward, and the other boiler shut down as well the following week.

“After a good look at the boiler that was taken down initially with the tube rupture, there was corrosion on the inner portion of the boiler,” Susan Siopis, the region’s works commissioner, told councillors at the February meeting of regional council.

“They found one ruptured, that’s what caused the initial shutdown. As a result of that, they’ve gone through and done a lot of testing in regards to wall thickness on the tubes inside the boiler and have decided they wanted to move up the annual maintenance so they could use the materials on site, do replacement of the tubes that were showing significant corrosion and fix it properly.”

When those shutdowns were first announced, it was expected the site would be back to normal operations by the beginning of March.

According to a Feb. 10 letter to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change from Matt Nield, the facility manager, posted on the incinerator website, waste has been bypassed from the site since Feb. 6, and at that time it was expected both boilers would be back online and processing garbage by early March.

The letter also states that, at that time, 2,000 tonnes of waste was being stored in the pit at the incinerator.