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L-154 nears completion of five-year clean-air project

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Located in Stratton, Ohio, the site for the W.H. Sammis Power Plant covers 187 acres along the Ohio River between East Liverpool and Steubenville. Photo used with permission of FirstEnergy.

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Part of the clean-air project at the Ohio coal-fired plant in Stratton includes preparing support for the boiler penthouse roof.

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Local 154 members detail breeching duct support steel at the W.H. Sammis Plant.

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Boilermakers fabricate material to install the VenteX® system for exhaust ventilation inside a boiler.

Retrofit to cut gas emissions at Ohio coal-fired plant

ONE OF THE largest-ever environmental retrofit projects for FirstEnergy is nearing completion at the W.H. Sammis Plant in Stratton, Ohio. Over 450 Local 154 (Pittsburgh) members, along with Boilermakers from neighboring lodges, have been working on the project in seven consecutive outages. With completion scheduled for 2010, the $1.7 billion retrofit is expected to further reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 95 percent and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by at least 64 percent.

Members have been working for several Boilermaker contractors at the site, including the Bechtel Corporation, B&W, Patent Scaffold, Pullman Power, Ershigg’s Construction, and Enerfab.

“We have a great relationship with all of these contractors,” said Mark Angle, a Local 154 business agent. “Ray [L-154 Bus. Mgr. Ventrone] and our business agents are very proud of the members who are working this project. They are doing a great job and receive good reviews at labor-management project meetings.”

According to Angle, Boilermakers built the last pollution control baghouses and precipitators at the Sammis plant around 30 years ago. With new EPA regulations requiring FirstEnergy to install SCRs (selective catalytic reductors) and scrubbers on all seven units, Local 154 was called in to perform the retrofit work.

“Our members are building knocked-down fans [fans that arrive in pieces], vessels, and tanks, and erecting support steel and duct work,” Angle said. “Our B&W crew finished absorber vessels three and one-half months ahead of schedule.”

Bechtel handled the design, procurement, installation, and startup for the plant’s three sulfur dioxide scrubbers, the main components of a flue gas desulfurization system. Boilermakers have been installing these state-of-the-art air quality control systems on all seven of the generating facility’s coal-fired units (constructed between 1959 and 1971), as well as NOx control equipment.

As part of the retrofit, Boilermakers working for Pullman Power built an 850-ft. stack and set its liner, which was spun by members employed by Ershigg’s Construction.

The new stack compliments an already striking feature of the plant — two chimneys that are among the tallest in the world (according to Wikipedia). Built in 1970, each chimney measures 1,000 feet in height.

The plant also has 9,000 feet of flue gas duct that Bechtel’s project team has nicknamed “the Great Wall” for its size, and a tunnel for State Route 7, a four-lane freeway, that runs under the baghouse structure. (The baghouse filters particulates and toxic gases from the plant’s exhaust before they enter the smoke stack.)

Located on the Ohio River, W.H. Sammis is FirstEnergy’s largest coal-fired power plant in Ohio. With its seven coal-fired units and five oil-fired peaking units, the plant produces 2,233 megawatts (MW) of electricity and uses an average of 18,000 tons of coal daily, for an annual average of 6.6 million tons. About 25 Local 154 members work year-round for Enerfab providing plant maintenance.

Tags  Jobs
Locals  L-154
Published on the Web: November 30, 2009

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