Brunswick County Power Station
Owner Dominion Virginia Power
Lead Design Firm Fluor
General Contractor Fluor
Air Cooled Condenser Erection National Steel Erectors
Withstanding Hurricane Joaquin and a competitive labor market, the Brunswick County Power Station team managed to complete the 1,358-megawatt natural gas combined-cycle station ahead of schedule.
The southern Virginia facility, designed to be one of the largest and most efficient combined-cycle projects in the world, helps Dominion Power transition from coal to cleaner energy that could power 325,000 homes, according to the project submission.
A 140-ft-tall, air-cooled condenser pares the facility’s water requirements. A steam turbine completely enclosed in a separate building reduces noise and enhances maintainability. Technology for specialized equipment changed so rapidly during the two-year project that the project team said it had to draw and implement design changes on the fly to ensure that the most efficient power-generation methods were being employed.
Crews used modularization to construct a significant portion of the facility’s pipe racks. The racks, installed at elevations of more than 40 ft above grade, were mostly constructed off site at grade level to improve safety and productivity.
The team experienced significant delay related to weather, including for Hurricane Joaquin, which dropped 5.84 in. of rain on the site during a 10-day period in fall 2015. To help mitigate the impact of rain and snow, the team utilized temporary gravel surfaces at elevation to improve drainage. Additionally, the project management team selectively used “weather outs” to continue activities in work areas unaffected by weather events. The team also built weather-recovery days into the schedule.
Faced with the challenge of worker attraction and retention, Fluor established weekly teleconferences with key team members to provide a broader view of available workforce and compensation at competing projects. The project team refined its recruiting efforts and made compensation changes to meet demand and regain lost schedule.
Safety was a project priority. Fluor instituted jobsite training programs and initiatives aimed at creating a safety culture that achieved an 0.36 recordable-incident rate during the project. A custom-designed incident prevention program focused on the idea of “justly caring for team members.”
Fluor also reinforced safety through constructibility reviews and job-hazard analyses, which included daily pre-job briefs for essential job steps, hazards and safe work methods. Employees of varied levels of experience gathered in a “learning center” to discuss how to use tools properly.
Craft workers also sat in on weekly safety committee sessions. A “why I work safe” campaign displayed family photos and safety messages on video boards. Daily large-group safety meetings, safety walks and “management in action” meetings were held to review safety trends, site conditions, schedule and project updates.