New boilers up and running at Paducah Plant

Published Oct. 29, 2015
The new five steam package boiler units are shown at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The new five steam package boiler units are shown at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Louisville District helped to oversee the design and quality control of a massive new steam boiler unit for the Department of Energy at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky.

The new boiler system started up Oct. 16, just in time for the cold weather to hit. It replaced the old C-600 Steam Plant and fuel oil tanks on site with more efficient boiler units to provide heat for the facility.

“The Corps of Engineers was asked to provide quality oversight of this project due to the importance and complexity of the project,” said Carl Lindsay, USACE construction management specialist, and Jeff Cannady, construction representative. “This project took the only steam plant on the facility offline and brought it back online with the newly installed system.” 

The project was time sensitive in that it needed to be in complete working order to provide heat for the facility before freezing temperatures started. 

The work was done in two phases. Phase I was site preparation and demolition of the existing fuel oil tank, asbestos abatement, earthwork and preparation for the concrete pad and ground rods. Phase II required construction of the concrete pad, setting of the steam package boiler trailers on-site, piping supports and installation, power poles, and running wire, cable and conduit to tie-in services to the mobile boiler units. 

The project saw challenges from to a change in the prime contractor during construction and having to get a new contractor on board to complete the work, which caused a slight delay in the project. 

“But once the new contractor got their training completed and procedures approved they developed and met a schedule that allowed for successful completion of the contract,” said Cannady. 

“It was a great opportunity to work with another government agency toward a common goal. The successful completion of the construction contract will help to allow the decommissioning of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant,” said Lindsay.