Alamitos Energy Center
Long Beach, Calif.
Best Project

Owner: AES
Lead Design Firm: Kiewit Engineering Group Inc. (KEG)
General Contractor: Kiewit
Subcontractors: Allied Concrete; Pittsburg Tank; Gerdau; Innova Global; Murphy’s Coatings; Continental Fire Sprinkler Co.; National Conductor LLC

As part of a statewide effort to expand clean, reliable power resources, a 60-year-old steam-generation power plant was replaced with a high-efficiency, 650-MW combined-cycle gas turbine system. The project incorporated 35 cell air-cooled condensers with direct dry-cooling systems where steam from the turbine exhaust is condensed inside air-cooled, finned tubes. The system eliminates the need for ocean water for cooling, and a closed-loop steam cycle will save millions of gallons of fresh water annually.

Despite its complex design and challenging 30-month construction schedule, the project team logged more than 1.8 million staff hours without a recordable lost-time accident. This achievement was the result of site-specific programs that actively engaged craftworkers in promoting safety from start to finish. For example, craft personnel were encouraged to be continuously alert to incidents that, under different circumstances, might have had serious outcomes. A craft-only committee provided a platform for all craft workers to have an equal voice in safety practices while also helping develop productive communication relationships with management and peers.

In addition, all workers, from supervisors to the newest craft hire, were responsible for submitting safety observations to the appropriate department. Safety and project managers regularly reviewed the results to identify trending data and share those findings with the work teams.

Back to ENR California's 2020 Regional Best Project Shine