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Shutdown of Martins Creek units stirs memories of L-13 supervisors

WHEN THE PPL Corporation (formerly known as the Pennsylvania Power & Light Co.) announced that it would be shutting down its Martins Creek units 1 and 2 (Easton, Pa.) in September, it got two Boilermaker supervisors thinking about the history of the plant.

Tom Coleman and Lou Tarnalicki started working outages at Martins Creek 25 years ago. They are both members of Local 13, a shop and construction lodge in Philadelphia, and were originally members of shipyard Local 19 (also in Philadelphia), with Coleman joining in 1979 and Tarnalicki in 1980.

Earlier this year, Coleman and Tarnalicki worked as supervisors on the units’ last scheduled outage. They wrote to the Boilermaker Reporter about the memories they shared in this last outage: “The crew of Boilermakers who worked this outage reflected the exceptional craftsmanship and outstanding professionalism that has been displayed here for many contractors over the last 50 years. As we walk down the units for the last time, it spawned many memories that a lot of you, and our brothers who have retired or passed, are a part of. We are also reminded of the many friendships that have developed among ourselves, other crafts, PPL employees, and brothers from many different locals around the country who have come to work at Martins Creek.”

PPL’s Martin Creek units 1 and 2 were built in the 1950s. At that time, they were the largest single turbine generators in the PPL system and were built at PPL’s first plant designed to burn bituminous coal. This plant was also one of the first outdoor-type, steam electric stations in the Northeast. In September, these units will be shut down and eventually dismantled.

Coleman and Tarnalicki commend those who have contributed to the maintenance and repair of these units over the years for their skill, knowledge, and craftsmanship.

“It is important that we keep pride in our work and safety at the forefront, and treasure the friendships and memories we propagate each day,” they wrote. “By doing this we can ensure future clients and contractors the same quality and professionalism that has been displayed here for many years. Thank you for making our final outage at Martins Creek 1 & 2 a success.”

Published on the Web: September 20, 2007

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