– Report by our E-Crane® team on site.
Last month a 2000 Series E-Crane® bulk material handler was installed at the Rodemacher Power Station in Lena, Louisiana. This plant is owned and operated by CLECO. The E-Crane® will be unloading limestone and petcoke received by jumbo barges on the Red River to the new Unit 3 CFB (Circulating Fluidized-Bed) Project that is currently under construction. The pedestal mounted 15317 model has a clamshell attachment for each material along with a Quick Disconnect system. The E-Crane®, rated for 1300 tons per hour free digging, is capable of unloading a barge in well under three hours.
The new 600 megawatt Unit 3 will add solid fuels to CLECO Rodemacher’s already established natural gas facility. The added power generating capacity, as well as fuel versatility, is estimated to save CLECO’s customers at least $4 billion of the next 30 years. The $1 billion dollar project will create hundreds of jobs in the area as well as generate millions of dollars of revenue to local companies.
The petcoke is a by-product of Louisiana’s oil refinery industry and will be transported to the site via the Red River. It will be the job of the E-Crane® to unload these barges and discharge the material into an adjacent hopper. The material then takes a mile and a half journey on a unique “pipe” conveyor to the plant for processing. The limestone intake will be used to scrub the petcoke when necessary.
The project is managed by The Shaw Group, one of the largest US-based firms in the energy sector.The close proximity of Lena,LA to Shaw’s headquarters, Baton Rouge,
LA, makes for an excellent partnership. At peak construction, Shaw managed over 2000 on-site workers. To date, the project has surpassed five million man-hours and hopes to be completed by the end of 2008.
Installation of the E-Crane® began the first week of July, 2008 at the Port of Alexandria, Louisiana; approximately 15 miles downriver from Lena. The E-Crane® components were received via truck from the Port of New Orleans. The E-Crane® erection team, led by Jason Kruse and Dale Ensminger along with newcomer Justin Angle and engineer Steve Osborne, spent a week loading the components onto work barges and building larger sub-assemblies.
The final assembly at Rodemacher was completed from the water in cooperation with Bo-Mac Contractors, a marine construction company based in Beaumont, Texas. Bo-Mac used it’s barge mounted Link Belt 718 lift crane (based rated for 250 US tons) to assist in the erection. The E-Crane® team, joined by E-Crane® service technician Bryan Boyd for additional assistance, should have been familiar with this machine since Mark Osborne, President E-Crane USA, worked on the design team for FMC/Link Belt early in his engineering career.
After mechanical assembly was complete E-Crane® Service Manager, Steve Suter, joined the on-site team to complete electrical and hydraulic terminations and perform startup. At this point, concrete was pumped into the counterweight sections using a shore based 59 meter pump truck. The final testing, tuning, and training will commence in the middle of September 2008 once the entire material handling operation is online. The E-Crane® will be operated by Savage Services on contract with CLECO. Savage has experience with E-Crane® as they are also the operators of a 2000 Series E-Crane® at Nova Scotia Power’s Pt. Tupper facility.