Sandow 4 installation work done

Job force rapidly ramping down as ‘commissioning phase’ gets under way

By MIKE BROWN Reporter Editor


The installation of sophisticated anti-pollution equipment at Luminant’s Sandow Power Plant Unit 4 is complete and the number of temporary employees on that job is rapidly falling.

Unit 4 remains off line and commissioning phase is under way, according to Ashley Monts, Luminant spokesperson.

“Crews just recently completed the final connections on the new SCR (selective catalytic reduction) system,” Monts said.

That project began the first week in February and remains on schedule, according to Monts.

‘Ramping down’

The Rockdale area should be noticing a large drop-off in the construction force which has been on hand for the past six weeks.

“The number of contractors is continuing to steadily ramp down as the project progresses,” Monts said.

At its mid-February peak there were about 1,200 workers on the Sandow 4 project, roughly 1,000 from Fluor and 200 from Babcock Wilcox.

Next steps

Luminant won’t give the ending date of the project, noting that the energy market would react if an actual date were released for Unit 4 to go back on-line.

Industry analysts have estimated the work will last from February to April.

Monts said the new equipment is expected to be operational by June 1 but that does not mean the outage is anticipated to last that long.

SCR has been compared to the catalytic converter on a vehicle.

Combustion gas is injected with an ammonia-forming chemical which then passes through a catalyst which converts nitrogen oxide (NOX) to nitrogen and water.

The SCR installation is part of a court-ordered settlement to a lawsuit which cleared the way for construction of Sandow Power Plant Unit 5.

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