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Members build tube liners for Ohio River hydro plant

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Water from the Ohio River will rush into the hydro tube liners, turning the power plant’s three turbines. Photo courtesy of National Steel Erection, Inc.

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A 30-ft.-dia. section is moved into position near hydro tube liner #2. Photo courtesy of National Steel Erection, Inc.

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Boilermakers make a lift inside the 10-story cofferdam that parallels the river. Photo courtesy of National Steel Erection, Inc.

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L-363 (East St. Louis) member Jeremy Dye makes a weld on the outside of adjoining tube sections. Photo courtesy of National Steel Erection, Inc.

$416 million project will generate renewable energy

ABOUT TWO DOZEN Boilermakers are working under National Transient Division articles of agreement to build draft tube liners for the $416 million, 84-MW Cannelton Hydroelectric Plant near Hawesville, Ky.

National Steel Erection, Inc. (NSE) has the contract for the liners. Each is 30 feet in diameter and 60 feet long. Their function is to direct water from the Ohio River through turbines, turning generators to produce electricity. The project adjoins the existing Cannelton Locks and Dam.

Local 40 (Elizabethtown, Ky.) has jurisdiction for the Boilermaker work. Walsh Construction is the prime contractor. American Municipal Power, an Ohio-based non-profit wholesaler, is the owner/operator.

“We can't say enough good things about the Boilermakers working at the Cannelton Dam Project.” — Travis Thompson, NSE

“There haven’t been many hydro projects in the last 30 years,” said Mike Autry, BM-ST for L-40. “Our members working under the NTD agreement have experience in this kind of work, because it’s much like building a tank, except that the tubes are constructed horizontally rather than vertically.”

NSE Project Manager Travis Thompson said each of the three draft tube liners arrived at the site as 20 knock-down pieces. Boilermakers assembled the pieces into six sections. A total of 18 sections were transported on multi-axle trailers to the bottom of a 10-story cofferdam. Boilermakers then lifted each section into position before welding it into place. According to Thompson, the upstream-most section was the most difficult to fit because of its machine-flanged surface and critical alignment requirements.

NSE and the Boilermaker crews completed the fabrication and rigging work in just 16 weeks — far ahead of schedule. The first phase of draft tube liner welding will be completed in mid-February. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2014.

“We can't say enough good things about the Boilermakers working at the Cannelton hydroelectric power project,” Thompson said. “Their conscientious regard for quality and safety while constantly making production rates has helped make this a great project for National Steel Erection, Inc.”

Thompson noted that three other AMP hydro projects are under way along the Ohio River. NSE and Local 40 will begin assembling draft tube liners this spring at AMP’s Meldahl Station, at Foster, Ky. Cofferdam work began at the Smithland, Ky., dam in 2010 and at the Willow Island, W.Va., dam in 2011. Contracts for the power plant work on those two jobs have not yet been let.

Tags  Jobs, Local News
Locals  L-40, L-363
Reporter  V51N1
Published on the Web: January 31, 2012

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