Duke completes world’s largest IGCC plant

One of two gasifiers that convert coal and oxygen into a synthesis gas and also produce steam.

L-374 plays key role in project

DUKE ENERGY’s 618 MW IGCC plant, the world’s largest, began final testing and commercial operation this summer at Edwardsport, Ind. About 150 Boilermakers from Local 374 (Hammond, Ind.) and other lodges contributed their skills to the $3.5 billion project.

IGCC, or integrated gasification combined cycle, is an advanced technology that converts coal to a synthesis gas and strips out pollutants before it is combusted in a gas turbine. Exhaust heat from the combustion is then used to power steam turbines for additional electricity production.

The Edwardsport facility is the first new coal-fired power plant to be built in Indiana in more than 20 years.

Boilermakers performed a key role in the construction, according to Dave Willis, L-374 business agent for the project. The Boilermaker scope of work included erecting the two gasifier units; installation of two radiant syngas coolers; installation of two heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs), along with the supporting structure and catwalks; and associated process tank work.

Willis praised members on the job for staying on schedule throughout the project and meeting the exacting weld requirements.

“It was a smooth project for us,” he said. “We knocked it out of the park.” According to Duke, the twin 300 MW units will generate 10 times more power than the older facility it replaces, with about 70 percent less emission of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulates combined, making it one of the cleanest coal-fired power plants in the world.

Bechtel was the prime contractor on the project. Contractors involved in the main Boilermakers scope of work included Industrial Contractors Skanska and Enerfab (gasification block), and Sterling Boiler and Mechanical (HRSGs).

The project created 3,500 construction jobs, according to Duke. The company said the project will also create 140 full-time jobs at the facility and will support an estimated 170 mining jobs.