Every now and then Boilermakers pull off a task others think is next to impossible. Recently members working in the jurisdiction of Local 363 [East St. Louis, Ill.] achieved such a feat.
Boilermakers had been working around the clock on overlapping emergency outages at Dynegy Midwest Generation’s Baldwin Energy Complex in Baldwin, Ill., when we were asked if we could eliminate as much soot blower erosion as possible from a secondary superheater. We would have just two 12-hour shifts to get it done, and additional welders would have to be called in on short notice. The assignment involved building a 60-foot scaffold, installing 56 Dutchmen [repair tubes], completing 20 pad welds, and removing the scaffolding by the end of the second shift.
We accomplished all of this work with eight sets of welders per shift.
Plant management personnel are still beside themselves about the feat — 76 probable forced outages eliminated in a 24-hour span. I let them know that all Boilermakers ever require is a clear path to what needs to be done, proper tools and material, and access to the work.
The only thing left is to stay out of their way, because you might get run over! This was a prime example that everyone has a role to play and, when organized, what seems unobtainable comes easily.
At times this job mentally drains me, but right now I am walking tall, proud to be a Boilermaker!
PMC Site Superintendant
Baldwin Energy Complex
[Editor’s Note: A member of L-363, Merle Pelate is a recent graduate of the MOST Project Management Training Program.]