When Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii erupted, Air Charter Service (ACS) was contacted as a matter of urgency to deliver fire retardant to save a geothermal power plant.
A specialist freight forwarder contacted ACS asking them to source an aircraft capable of flying a large amount of barite, which acts as a fire retardant, as soon as possible.
ACS found an MD-11 Freighter that was capable of carrying the 68 tonne shipment of the clay like substance, which hardens when heated and was used to cap the geothermal wells and protect them from the lava flow.
ACS Americas president, Richard Thompson says: “Towns and countryside were being turned into a volcanic wasteland as lava from the erupting Kilauea Volcano made its way across the island. This in itself was devastating, but the flow was fast approaching the Puna Geothermal Venture plant which would have meant further disaster, so an urgent plan was formulated to prevent the lava pouring into the wells at the site.”
He adds: “The flight went without a hitch and the wells were capped with the barite and deactivated shortly afterwards. As an extra precaution the plant was later shut down and 60,000 gallons (230,000 litres) of flammable liquid were removed from the site.”