Alberni Valley Multiplex Remains Closed Until Further Notice

Alberni Valley Multiplex Remains Closed Until Further Notice

Port Alberni, BC – On November 15th, 2019, City officials met with a number of agencies including Technical Safety BC and representatives of the manufacturer of the ice plant to discuss a Certificate of Inspection issued the previous evening by Technical Safety BC.

The certificate indicated that further requirements are to be met before the Multiplex ice plant system can be recommissioned. According to Technical Safety BC, the Multiplex must remain closed until the new requirements are met to their satisfaction.  The new requirements include:

  • Proof that the refrigeration plant has been shut down;
  • A documented procedure for monitoring the plant while it is not in operation; and
  • A fit-for-service assessment by the manufacturer that takes into consideration the integrity of the entire ice plant unit.

“We had the impression that this would be resolved quickly to the satisfaction of Technical Safety BC, but they have now raised additional questions. Therefore, for planning and safety purposes, the Multiplex will remain closed while the City continues to work with Technical Safety BC and the manufacturer to address the new requirements,” said Tim Pley, City of Port Alberni CAO. “City staff and elected officials are passionate about the programs and services the City provides and are disappointed that the closure continues to affect these programs and services. We regret the impact that this is having on our user groups.”

The City will continue to update the community and its stakeholders as the technical team works to meet the new requirements, and City staff remain ready to start the ice installation process the moment Technical Safety BC gives the go-ahead.


In April 2019, the City of Port Alberni installed a new ice plant in the Alberni Valley Multiplex.

On November 3rd, 2019, a low-pressure ammonia leak was detected in the compressor room of the Multiplex. A subsequent investigation found that a small amount of ammonia vapour was leaking from a crack in a weld. Technical Safety BC ordered that the ice plant be deactivated pending investigation of the cause of the leak and until repairs are completed.

Non-destructive testing revealed a second crack and nine sub-surface fissures, all in the same weld. All other external welds on the ice chiller were examined, with no further flaws found. Repairs have been completed on the one faulty weld. Those repairs were made by Geo Tech Industries under the guidance of metallurgic engineers from Acuren Industrial Services and with the support and agreement of Accent Refrigeration (the installer of the ice plant) and Isotherm Inc. (the manufacturer of the plant).  All parties concurred that the faulty weld was a manufacturing failure.


For More Information

Tim Pley

CAO, City of Port Alberni