Mafate: a hydrogen power plant destroyed in a fire at La Nouvelle

Mafate: a hydrogen power plant destroyed in a fire at La Nouvelle

On the night of Friday to Saturday July 2, around 2:30 a.m., a fire declared a priori in an ONF technical room, in La Nouvelle, spread to the EDF hydrogen photovoltaic power plant, in the circus of Mafate. The risk of explosion is now eliminated. A helicopter detachment of firefighters was dispatched to the scene.

Last night was very short in the Nouvelle sector, in Mafate. This Saturday, July 2, around 2:30 a.m., a major fire broke out at the mini photovoltaic power plant equipped with a hydrogen storage system, without its precise origin being known.

The fire would have started from a technical room of the ONF, the National Forestry Office, before spreading to the installation considered sensitive due to the natural instability of hydrogen. The building was completely set on fire but luckily the hydrogen cylinders were not affected, even though the entire wooden structure and the plastic part burned. Any risk of explosion was thus ruled out during the morning.

Watch the report from Réunion La 1ère:

In the Mafate circus, in La Nouvelle, residents intervened simply equipped with garden hoses to deal with the fire at the EDF hydrogen power plant

Witnesses did not hesitate to intervene in an attempt to put out the fire. This is the case of Olivier Bègue who tells us about these long hours of anguish.

“There were a lot of flames in the room and at the start of the fire, we were a little scared”

Oliver Bègue, resident of La Nouvelle in Mafate

I immediately warned the people around and then we called the fire departmenthe says again. They told us what to do and in particular that we had to move away about 300 meters from the hydrogen tank because it could really be very dangerous and so that’s what we did. We walked away and waited for the flames to die down a bit. And around 3:30 in the morning, my uncle, my girlfriend, a friend and myself, we tried to put out the fire“.


At La Nouvelle, in the Cirque de Mafate, the photovoltaic power plant with hydrogen storage was completely destroyed by the flames



©National Forestry Office

The fight of these inhabitants of La Nouvelle against the flames will last several hours until the arrival of a helicopter detachment of firefighters around 6 am.

Fire at a hydrogen power plant in Mafate La Nouvelle Reunion

The hydrogen power plant is completely ablaze, hence the intervention of residents of La Nouvelle, equipped with simple garden hoses



©Internaut Reunion The 1st

The detachment dispatched to the scene was still in action this Saturday morning. Around 9 a.m., the helicopter rotations nevertheless ended, according to testimonies from residents on the spot. A sign that the fire is well under control.

Look at these images of the end of the intervention transmitted by the team of the gite du Tamareo:

End of the intervention on the fire in mafate this Saturday morning around 9 a.m.



©Jessy Piccamiglio

End of the intervention on the fire in mafate this Saturday morning around 9 a.m.



©Jessy Piccamiglio

This plant, which is managed by EDF, supplies the school and its ancillary buildings, including the canteen and staff accommodation for the teaching staff. It was inaugurated in February 2016 by Jean-Bernard Lévy, the president of EDF. It was also ultimately intended to supply all of La Nouvelle with electricity.

Inauguration of the photovoltaic power plant with hydrogen storage at La Nouvelle Mafate Reunion

The photovoltaic power plant with hydrogen storage was inaugurated in February 2016 at La Nouvelle by EDF Chairman Jean-Bernard Lévy



©IPR

EDF, which expressed itself in a press release addressed to Réunion La 1ère: “The teams ofEDF is working in close collaboration with the fire brigade to complete the securing of the electrical installation affected by a fire. No injuries are to be reported, only material damage to the installation which supplies 4 customers in Mafateit is specified. No technical element allows for the moment to determine the origin of the fire and the exact place of the start of the fire.“.

Also kept informed of the situation, the services of the ONF, the National Forestry Office, sent a team on site.