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Local 647 retrofits Boswell’s Unit 3


his Local 647 crew is retrofitting Unit 3 at the Boswell Energy Center in Cohasset, Minn. L. to r., front row: Tim Sauter, Dave Kantola, Rex Gustafson, Kim Gullickson, Mike Halik, Matt Cox, Erik KAntola, and Wayne Everett. Center row: Les Rinerson, Archie Maki, Travis Gullickson, Barry Wagner, Warren Klinger, Ron Black, Bill Polchow, John Paul Jones, Paul Wilcox, and John Knutson. Back row: Josh Overn, Nathan Rinerson, Paul A. Silvis, John Silvis, Curt Bendickson, Travis Gullickson, Joe Machones, Jason Brown, Jack Stahlberg, Doug Cummins, Scott Hassel, Jeff Vandell, Dean Schliek, John Martin, Dave Nivala, Erik Kantola, Kelly Matheny, Chris Unger, Ray Lavamaki, Denny Anderson, John Bodell, Matt Lind, and Joe Petoletti. Not pictured: Rolf Sondergaard, Kyle Lind, and Ken Scott.


Local 647 members use a 1,000-ton crane to lift sections of an SCR. It took four lifts to complete the SCR, and multiple lifts to raise the 300 catalyst modules.

Project includes SCR, baghouse, and tons of duct work

LOCAL 647 MEMBERS (Minneapolis) are working through some harsh temperatures to retrofit Unit 3 at the Minnesota Power’s Boswell Energy Center near Grand Rapids.

The project — part of Minnesota Power’s plan to reduce air emissions — started last winter with members working several days running in temperatures as low as 25 degrees below zero. The work has continued into the summer months, with temperatures reaching the high nineties.

Working for the Jamar Company, the Boilermaker crew has lost very few days owing to weather, despite the harsh conditions, keeping the job on schedule.

The retrofit includes fabrication and installation of a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) unit, which reduces nitrogen oxide emissions. The Boswell Energy Center is a coal-fired generating station.

Local 647 is also installing a new baghouse (a filtration system) and several tons of duct work on the northern Minnesota project. The large duct work makes up the inlet and outlet of the SCR. It runs from the existing air heater to the new baghouse, from the baghouse to the induced draft (ID) fans, and from the ID fans to the new absorber and existing stack.

Using a Liebherr 1800, 1,000-ton crane, members are lifting the SCR in four sections. Each section weighs as much as 120 tons and has to be lifted 138 feet high and 187 feet away from the center pin of the large crane.

Other lifts include 300 catalyst modules that each weigh about 3,000 pounds and have to be installed inside the SCR.

So far the members have worked over 77,000 man-hours with no lost-time injuries.

“If I were still working in the field, this is a job I would like to be on.”
— L-647 BM-ST Bernard Hilla

Not only is the Jamar Co. pleased with the Boilermakers work, says field superintendent Bob Larson, a retired L-647 member, but Minnesota Power has noticed the crew’s progress.

“Minnesota Power is very pleased with the quantity and quality of the Boilermakers’ work on this project,” said power plant spokesman Tom Coughlin. The energy center plans to retrofit another unit soon, promising Local 647 members employment for some time.

“If I were still working in the field, this is a job I would like to be on,” said L-647 BM-ST Bernard Hilla. “It’s a great job for us in a beautiful part of the country. Our members will be there for at least another 18 months of steady work.”

Tags  Jobs, Local News
Locals  L-647
Reporter  V47N3
Published on the Web: August 12, 2008

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