An “Exhaustive” Project
An “Exhaustive” ProjectSeven-Year Project Helps Power Plant Improve the Environment
STURTEVANT, Wisconsin (February 1, 2006) – One of the five largest coal burning plants in the nation, the Cinergy Gibson Generating Station in southwestern Indiana is engaged in a large-scale, long-term construction project.
Undertaken in response to environmental concerns as outlined in the Clean Air Act, this project is devoted to removing sulfur and other contaminants from the exhausted air utilized in the generation of power from coal burning power plants. The seven-year Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) construction project is over two-thirds complete.
Of significance to the construction world is the incredibly solid foundation needed to support two 620 ft. tall and 65 ft. diameter concrete chimneys. Stability is critical, as foundation settling could cause the chimney to be a quarter-inch per foot out of plumb, meaning that the top of the chimney would lean a dangerous 12 feet.
Upon completion, the project will include two new chimneys (to release the cleaned air), three scrubbers (technology used in air purification), a Reactant Prep and De Watering (RPDW) building (used to process the purification ingredients), a track unloading and reclaim system, new conveyors and an on-site waste water treatment facility.
The combined expertise of Bowen Engineering Corporation, founded in Fishers, Indiana in 1967, and Cinergy’s construction team has been instrumental in the construction of extremely resilient concrete foundations. Staffed by professional engineers who specialize in self-performing earthwork, concrete and mechanical work, the team was prepared for the demanding project ahead.
In July 2004, Bowen constructed the first chimney’s foundation by placing a four-inch mud mat atop the bearing piles already installed. While the mud mat provided a more conducive work area during inclement weather, it also provided a solid foundation to bear framing systems used to support numerous bolt layouts. These bolts were required for anchoring building columns and numerous pieces of process equipment.
For all of the above-mentioned foundations, over 4,000 tons of rebar and 45,000 cubic yards of concrete were used. These foundations incorporated between two and five mats of steel rebar and up to eight feet of concrete. For concrete placement, Bowen chose a concrete pumping company whom they had worked with successfully in the past, George’s Concrete Pumping of Indianapolis.
Despite the four-hour one-way commute to pump twelve pours, joint owners George Knapp, Nick Fletcher and Renee Fogleman responded positively to a customer in need.
“For the dozen pours, the Putzmeister boom pumps supplied by George’s gulped down the difficult concrete mix without the slightest problem,” says Matt Gentry a Project Manager for Bowen Engineering. “This job site situation is an ideal testimonial for the performance of the manufacturer’s equipment and the competence of the pumping company’s services.”
George Knapp notes, “Our experienced operators combined with our equipment’s rugged
S-Valve enable us to pump mixes and handle jobs that others simply can’t or won’t touch.”
In business since 1994, George’s fleet includes nine truck-mounted boom pumps and one truck-mounted line pump – all Putzmeister models. The pumping company has earned a reputation for dependable machine performance and a willingness to work with customer schedules.
“The logistics in scheduling jobs farther away from our home base are extremely difficult,” says Renee Fogleman. “It’s a juggling act of taking care of loyal customers locally while also accommodating major pumping projects as they occur.”
Fogleman adds, “Fortunately, our entire staff works well together to make it all happen and we rely on precise scheduling from our dispatcher Kelly Riley so no customer is left waiting.”
To accommodate the Gibson station, the typical scenario for George’s involved departing Indianapolis at 9:00 pm, arriving at the site after midnight and pumping by 2:00 am. Around noon, the pumps were headed home to handle their normal customer load.
Most pours at the power plant required two specific boom pumps – a BSF 42X-Meter and a BSF 46X-Meter, which were operated by co-owners Knapp and Fletcher. A third BSF 36-Meter pump and operator were on stand-by per Bowen’s request. Steven Fletcher, a highly capable operator and son of one of the owners, was on site with this extra pump, but he never had to unfold the boom.
“Although we didn’t use the backup pump, it was added insurance for us,” says Gentry. “Once you start an eight foot thick pour, you can’t just stop.”
Fletcher notes, “While pumping, we were never nervous about running out of fuel in the middle of the night because our larger Putzmeister boom pumps have extra fuel tanks in the outriggers.”
A variance of the typical pumping routine did occur when two larger 2,700 cubic yard concrete pours were required. The first major pour involved two BSF boom pumps simultaneously placing concrete while the next pour required three pumps due to a larger square foot area. Though undertaken from noon to midnight, instead of the other way around, all went according to plan.
Average concrete outputs were dictated by what IMI Ready Mix Company could dispatch from their Mount Carmel, Illinois and Fort Branch, Indiana batch plants. Initially, the pumps averaged about 175 yards an hour until the concrete producer realized the higher 200 plus cubic yard output capabilities of each pump. Ramping up production, IMI was supplying concrete at about 230 yards an hour by the last pour.
The Bowen-Cinergy team is nearing completion of the concrete foundation work. Bowen continues to respond to the growing demand for construction services related to compliance with environmental issues. Currently, the company is actively undertaking several power plant projects throughout the southeastern part of the United States, some notably related to the Tennessee Valley Authority and Dayton Power & Light.
Similar to the Gibson project, one of Bowen’s latest power plant jobs is in Aberdeen, Ohio. Once again, the company enlisted the assistance of George’s Concrete Pumping to pump the slabs.
The first pour took 16 hours with four Putzmeister boom pumps handling a 4,700 cubic yard slab at a 12-foot thickness. Impressed by how the Putzmeister pumps could maintain such a fast pace, the crew had to intentionally slow down the pour for two hours as finishers were not scheduled to arrive in sync with the placement.
“Although George’s was over a five hour drive away from the Ohio power plant, I specifically requested them because they never missed a beat while on the Gibson project,” says Bill Thompson, Bowen’s project superintendent of both the Gibson and Aberdeen projects. “While local crews initially questioned the rationale in bringing pumps from so far away, they soon witnessed the impressive and efficient performance of the equipment and expertise and professionalism of the operators in the completion of this major pour without even the slightest mechanical mishap.”
“We all enjoy a job with a challenge because it’s gratifying to see the end results,” says Fogleman. “We just wish these rewarding jobs were a bit closer to home.”
Owner: Cinergy Gibson Generating Station – Owensville, IN
General contractor: Bowen Engineering – Fishers, IN
Ready-mix supplier: IMI Ready Mix Company – Mount Carmel, IL and Fort Branch, IN
Pumping contractor: George’s Concrete Pumping – Indianapolis, IN
Equipment: Putzmeister BSF 36-Meter, BSF 42X-Meter (2) and BSF 46X-Meter truck-mounted concrete boom pumps