The $1.7-billion, 620-MW John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant took more than six years to complete. Located on a 2,800-acre greenfield site, the plant required 12.8-million man-hours, 5 million linear ft of cable, 200,000 linear ft of pipe and 66,000 cu yd of concrete.

Southwestern Electric Power Co. elected to have two major engineering, procurement and construction contractors, CB&I and B&W, do the work. CB&I was the schedule integrator, leading construction and accounting for about 80% of the craft hours worked on the project.

Coordinating and planning with B&W as the other prime contractor created "a unique situation in that we did not have commercial responsibility for the other prime contractor, which, at times, led to different schedule priorities," says Scott Reschly, project director for CB&I.

"These differences were resolved through good communication, extensive planning efforts completed at the jobsite by management and the project teams, and, most importantly, staying focused on our mutual primary goal, [which] was to complete the first ultra-supercritical, coal-fired plant in the U.S. within the client's schedule requirements and to do it safely," Reschly says.

The team was able to reach a real industry achievement of commercial operation only 121 days after the boiler was first fired on natural gas, believed to be an industry best.

"There was a strong emphasis from the client in regard to the environmental aspects of the project and a zero-violations approach with respect to the permitting process," Reschly says. "To achieve this goal, we had to integrate that approach into the engineering, construction and commissioning execution plans."

During the early phases of construction, the site area experienced 100-year rainfalls, making early civil work and steel erection difficult.

"We were able to overcome the time that was lost due to the rain events by extensive planning from the project team and executing to that plan," Reschly says.

The project team also worked through one of the hottest and driest summers on record in 2012.

CB&I encouraged craft workers to embrace safety by offering six-week courses on site and providing additional pay increases for craftsman who became NCCER and CB&I certified.

Another investment that paid off on the project was CB&I's clean-pipe program. It resulted in a quicker chemical-clean, turbine oil flush and steam-blow cleaning of the facility's high-energy piping.

Key Players

Owner American Electric Power’s Southwestern Electric Power Co., Columbus, Ohio

General Contractors CB&I (BOP GC) and The Babcock & Wilcox Co. (AQCS GC), both of Charlotte, N.C.

Lead Design CB&I, Centennial, Colo.