Salt Lake City Olympic organizers prepare to prevent power outages

By MIKE GORRELL, The Salt Lake Tribune

November 13, 2000 (Knight Ridder/Tribune)à‚–A power outage at an Olympic event definitely would be embarrassing. Conceivably, it could endanger public safety.

To avoid a breakdown of either magnitude, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee has turned to an Olympic veteran as the official “temporary power generation and distribution services” supplier of the 2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

Aggreko Inc., a company that was founded in 1962 in the Netherlands and since has spread to 120 locations worldwide, was named Thursday to fill that important role. The company has a service center in West Jordan. Its North American corporate offices are in New Iberia, La.

This will be the seventh Games for Aggreko since 1988, including the recently completed Sydney Olympics and the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. Terms were not disclosed. Suppliers typically contribute goods and services worth $5 million to $10 million to SLOC and its marketing partner, the U.S. Olympic Committee. Aggreko will provide temporary power to the USOC through 2004.

“Supplying major events with power has been part of our business for many years,” said Aggreko Chairman Chris Masters. “But the Salt Lake Games will be one of our most challenging due to potential hard weather, altitudes of over 8,000 feet and the logistics of the venues where we will be working.”

Equipment provided by Aggreko could distribute enough electricity for a city of 2 million people. It will include TwinPack diesel generators for television coverage from remote locations. A “specially synchronized engine system and intricate electronic controls will ensure power to these remote areas,” said company spokesman Mark Conrad, noting that deliveries of equipment will begin in late 2001.

“This fills a very large need for us,” said SLOC President Mitt Romney.

“With our venues in the mountains, we had budgeted a very substantial amount to purchase this equipment.”

à‚© 2000, The Salt Lake Tribune. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

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