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On-site machining opportunities: 12 Power plant construction projects in North and South America


Despite the growth in renewable energy projects, construction activity for building new fossil fuel and nuclear power plants continues in abundance. This is good news for machining services companies and contractors, large and small.  Using information sourced from the EIC (Energy and Industries Council), we’ve listed some projects which are either planned or already under construction in North and South Americas regions.

#1. Coal Fired Plants: Punta Catalina Power Plant, Azua Province, Dominican Republic

This $1,950m power plant comprises a 770MW thermo facility, made up of two coal-fired plants, both with a capacity of 385MW each. It will include the construction of a coal-receiving terminal for self-unloading Panamax vessels, with a maximum capacity of 80,000t. Support facilities such as a dome, conveyors, cooling and water treatment systems, and a 345kV electricity substation are to be included at the plant.  7,500 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs are expected to be created and the start-up date is scheduled as Q4 2018.

#2. Nuclear Power Plant Refurbishment: Embalse, Cordoba Province, Argentina 

This is a refurbishment and life extension project due for start-up in Q4 2018. The plant uses a pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) which operates at 80% capacity in order to limit neutron damage to pressure tubes. The refurbishment includes retubing, service fitness confirmation of the entire plant and the implementation of safety upgrades. The plant will be able to operate for a further 30 years and its nominal capacity will increase to 683MWe.   Project value is $1,600m.

#3. Thermal Power Project: Mejillones, Chile, Infraestructura Energética Mejillones 

Construction of one 375MWe coal-fired power plant in northern Chile. The unit will also be able to use limestone, biomass and other bulk fuels as feedstock. The project will connect to the northern SING power grid via a 220kV, 160km transmission line. The plant will supply power to mining operations in the region. Start-up is expected in 2018 and the project is valued at $1,000m.

#4. as Fired Power Station: Jalisco, Mexico

This new gas fired plant will have a total capacity of 795MW. The facility will be fed with gas from the Salamanca-El Castillo pipeline. The project will comprise of two gas turbines and one steam turbine and will also include a 400kV substation to aid electrical distribution. The plant is expected to have a lifespan of 50 years and start-up is expected in Q4 2019.

#5. Gas Turbine Addition: Ocotillo Power Station, Tempe, Arizona, USA

The 320MW plant currently consists of two Siemens AG steam turbine generators, two Alstom CE boilers, two Siemens W501A gas turbines, and three photovoltaic solar units.

The project is to replace two 1960's-era 110MW steam generators at the existing power station and the addition of five, 102MW fast-starting, fast-ramping natural gas combustion turbine (CT) units; totalling 510MW.  The project will increase the total capacity of the plant to 610MW. Start-up scheduled for 2019.

#6. Natural Gas Power Plant: Bridgeport Harbor, Connecticut, USA

A new 485MW power plant located in Bridgeport, Connecticut at the existing Bridgeport Harbor Generating Station. The plant will primarily operate on natural gas, but can run on ultra-low-sulfur distillate (ULSD) fuel oil as a back-up.  Start-up June 2019.

#7. Denton Energy Center: Denton, Texas, USA

A new 225MW gas-fired power plant located in Denton, Texas. Start-up 2018.

#8. Power Plant Expansion: Lincoln, USA

Expansion project at the Lincoln Combustion Turbine Station in North Carolina. The project entails the addition of 402MW open-cycle facility running on natural gas and fuel oil as back-up. The turbines used for the project are expected to be approximately 25% more efficient than the 16 turbines already in operation. Opened in 1995, the Lincoln power plant currently has a capacity of 1,200MW. The project will be developed in stages; the first of which to be completed in 2020.The second phase will increase the capacity further by 2022.

#9. Doswell Energy Center Expansion: Ashland, Virginia, USA 

A 340MW expansion to be built entirely on the site of the existing 155-acre Doswell Energy Center. The expansion will add two dual-fuel simple cycle combustion turbines that will provide on-demand, peaking electricity generation. The combustion turbines will fire natural gas, but will also be capable of firing ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD). The combustion turbines will use dry low nitrogen oxide (NOx) combustion technology and water injection to control NOx emissions based on the fuel being fired. The use of pipeline-quality natural gas and ULSD will minimize particulate emissions from the combustion turbines.

The following three projects are on hold, but keep watching to see if they get the go ahead;

#10 Pacifico Thermal Power Plant (Coal), Region I, Tarapacá, Chile. (Project on hold).

Construction of a coal-fired power plant with an installed capacity of 350MW. When complete, the plant will feature two 175MW generating units with pulverised coal boilers. The plant will connect to the SING power grid via a 220kV, 55.8km double-circuit transmission line to the Lagunas substation. Start-up is expected in 2021.

#11. Coal Burning Plant: Sandersville, Washington County, USA (Project on hold).

Details of the project are as follows; This has been initiated by a consortium of 10 Georgia electric membership corporations named ‘Power4Georgians’. The consortium is planning a coal-burning plant, with the design being a steam-electric generating station that uses emission reduction technologies such as; catalytic reduction for nitrogen oxide (NOx) control; wet scrubbers for sulphur dioxide (SO2) reduction; dry sorbent injection for mercury and sulphuric acid mist control; and fabric filter baghouse for PM/PM10, lead, and other pollutants. If the $2,100m project goes ahead, an estimated 1,400 construction jobs and 130 permanent jobs will be created.

#12. Santa Maria II Thermal Power Plant (Project on hold), Region VIII, Bío-Bío, Chile

Construction of a 350MWe coal-fired power plant in Region VIII, 500km south of Santiago. This will be the second plant built at the Santa Maria de Coronel thermal power complex in Coronel. Start-up due in 2019.

What equipment is available for machining projects used on power plant construction projects?

Most of the machining opportunities exist around pipelines. The relevant on-site machining products to use on pipelines  includeflange facing machines, hot tapping machines and clamshell pipe cutters.

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