Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro admits there was a problem with several fuel shipments to the Holyrood power plant last year, but the problem is not nearly as serious what critic Danny Dumaresque has made it out to be.
Dumaresque, a former Liberal MHA and a long-time critic of the Crown utility, said at a news conference Monday that "absolute, total negligence" was to blame for fuel purchase practices at Hydro.
Dumaresque implied Hydro's failure to specify certain quality aspects of the oil it was buying triggered a host of problems, from damaged fuel systems at the aging Holyrood generating station to the failure two months ago at the Sunnyside station that triggered a blackout across most of Newfoundland.
But Hydro vice-president Rob Henderson said Dumaresque's allegations are not true.
"It had absolutely nothing to do with the fuel oil system," Henderson said in an interview.
"The aluminum and silicon content had nothing to do with the shut-down of the unit last year in January, and nothing to do with the outages we experienced early this year, in January, and the problems that we had with the Holyrood plant late last year."
Hydro accepted four shipments of less-than-ideal oil because it had made no provisions in the purchase contract for backing out.
Henderson said that problem has since been fixed.