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Red Hill Joint Task Force begins repacking

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Joint Task Force-Red Hill announced today it began repacking the fuel pipelines connecting the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility to fuel points on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Task Force Commander Vice Adm. John Wade said the repacking process, which will take place over several days, is a key event that will ultimately set the conditions for the defueling of Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

Repacking is the process of adding fuel back into the repaired Red Hill pipelines. This process is necessary to equalize pressure within the pipeline system and prevent pressure surges during defueling.

During the repacking, fuel operators intend to fill the lines using fuel from the upper tank farm and remove all air to ensure a stable flow of fuel when defueling the main underground storage tanks, officials said. To reduce risk, fuel will be moved into the lines incrementally and in a deliberate and controlled manner.

This step provides additional verification of the pipeline’s integrity and sets conditions for the joint task force to begin gravity defueling the storage facility’s main tanks Oct. 16.

Two of the three pipelines will be repacked, officials said, as the third pipeline was determined to be unnecessary for defueling and will remain empty.

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