• Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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Lava burns 2 buildings at Puna Geothermal plant

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    An aerial view of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant on May 9. A substation and adjacent warehouse that stored a drilling rig at the plant were covered by lava on Wednesday, according to a Thursday statement from Ormat Technologies,

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Lava has burned down two buildings at the Puna Geothermal Venture plant.

A substation and adjacent warehouse that stored a drilling rig at the plant were covered by lava on Wednesday, according to a Thursday statement from Ormat Technologies, the Nevada company that owns the plant.

The main access road to the plant has also been covered and blocked by lava. An alternative access road remains open. Two geothermal wellheads were destroyed on May 28.

The Puna geothermal plant was taken offline and evacuated soon after the Kilauea volcano began erupting on May 3.

Officials removed roughly 50,000 gallons of pentane, a flammable gas similar to lighter fluid used in power generation at the plant, to an off-site industrial park. The geothermal wells were also plugged to prevent the accidental release of toxic gases from the lava flow.

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