US-based Alliant Energy has broken ground on a $700M natural gas-fuelled generating facility in Beloit, Wisconsin.
Spring Ridge Constructors (SRC) has been selected as the lead contractor by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for a $5bn natural gas transmission pipeline project in the US.
US-based electrical contractor MYR Group has won a $125M contract from Cross Texas Transmission (CTT) to build the new Limestone to Gibbons Creek transmission line in Texas.
Online retailer Amazon has unveiled plans for the construction of a new 253MW wind farm in Scurry County, Texas.
MidAmerican Energy Company has secured approval from the Iowa Utilities Board to construct a 2GW wind project in Iowa, US.The project, known as Wind XI, will include 1,000 wind turbines. Wind XI will consist of multiple sites across Iowa, which are still being finalised. The wind sites will be placed into service over a three-year period.MidAmerican Energy president and CEO Bill Fehrman said: “This is an exciting day for our customers, the state of Iowa and MidAmerican Energy. We thank the board for its support and for moving quickly to deliver this ruling.“Wind energy helps us keep prices stable and more affordable for customers, provides jobs and economic benefits for communities and the state, and contributes to a cleaner environment for everyone.”Construction work is set to commence soon with completion scheduled for the end of 2019.
Aguas de Rosarito (AdR), the special purpose project company owned by NuWater and N.S.C. Agua, has signed a public-private partnership contract with the state of Baja California, Mexico, for the design, construction, financing, and operation of a seawater desalination plant.The $490M desalination plant, which will have a daily capacity of up to 100M gallons, will be constructed in two phases.The first phase will have a daily capacity of 50M gallons and an aqueduct to the Mexican potable water system in Tijuana, Baja California. The second phase will have a daily capacity of 50M gallons and an aqueduct to a second delivery point in Tijuana.As per the contract, AdR will operate and maintain the plant and aqueducts for 37 years starting from the commencement of operation on the first phase.AdR has selected Degremont — a subsidiary of Suez Environmental of France — to design and construct the project.Rick McTaggart, CEO of Consolidated Water, N.S.C. Agua’s owner, said: "The execution of a definitive agreement to design, construct, finance and operate the 100M gallon per day Rosarito Seawater Desalination plant in Baja California, Mexico is the culmination of more than six years of development work by the Company and its partners."Phase one is set to be operational within 36 months, while the second phase is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2024.
A CH2M and Parsons joint venture has won a contract from the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) for its $1.3bn capital improvement programme (CIP).The improvement programme aims at repairing and replacing most of the underground water and wastewater infrastructure in Washington, D.C. and neighbouring jurisdictions.The JV will perform programme management services for the development and implementation of CIP.CH2M global water business group president Peter Nicol said: “CH2M has worked with DC Water for many years on capital improvement projects and most recently has been leading the utility’s Asset Management Program. “Aging underground infrastructure is a national problem and leads to disruptions in service and threatens water quality. We are excited to help DC Water tackle the complicated repair and replacement of its aging underground water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure local communities have access to safe drinking water and sanitation systems.”The CIP programme will involve the planning, design and construction of linear and vertical infrastructure in the water and wastewater service areas such as piping, pumping, storage and other appurtenance structures including hydrants, valves, inflatable dams, diversion structures and manholes.It will also involve the rehabilitation or replacement of small- and large-diameter water mains, the rehabilitation of water, sanitary and storm pumping stations, and the rehabilitation of minor and major sewers and storage facilities.
US-based CB&I has won a $350M contract for the construction of a combined-cycle gas turbine power station located in the south-east of the US.Under the contract, the company will be responsible for the engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction of the 560MW power plant.The facility will use gas turbines capable of operating on a dual-fuel configuration, providing efficiency, reliability, operational and fuel flexibility.CB&I's president of engineering and construction operating group Patrick Mullen said: "CB&I has a long history of providing industry-leading experience in fossil power generation from the early stages of engineering and development, through procurement, fabrication, construction, operation and maintenance."CB&I is proud to help our customer ensure an affordable, reliable and cleaner energy supply for the future while providing the local community with a project that provides local jobs and values environmental stewardship."<iframe src="https://timetric.com/c/66G5DY8/chart/" style="width:500px;height:350px;border:0;" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
US-based regional transmission organisation PJM Interconnection has approved a $636M investment for power transmission projects to enhance the grid and reduce electricity costs in the USA.A total of $320M will be invested in a project to alleviate transmission congestion across the Pennsylvania and Maryland border. The project will include improvements at existing substations, and the construction of two new substations and two new transmission lines, as well as improvements to existing lines. The development — to be built by Transource Energy, Baltimore Gas & Electric and Allegheny Power — is expected to be operational in 2020. PJM president and CEO Andrew Ott said: "This is PJM's largest-ever market efficiency project, and we expect it will resolve a significant amount of the remaining transmission congestion in the eastern portion of PJM."Additionally, PJM has approved a $316.3M for the new or changed projects to maintain the reliability of the regional electric transmission grid.
ABB has completed the upgrade and refurbishment of the three high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations on the power transmission link that delivers hydropower from Québec, Canada to New England, US.The upgrade of the world’s first multi-terminal link was completed for utilities Hydro-Québec and National Grid. The 1,500km link originally entered service in the early 1990s, and has provided the highly populated areas of Montreal and Boston with hydropower. With a total capacity of 2,000MW, the link can provide enough hydro-electricity for 3.8M people, based on average US household consumption.A critical part of the project has been ensuring minimal power interference and enabling commercial operation to be restored swiftly. As part of this latest upgrade, ABB has replaced the link’s hardware and software with its state-of-the-art MACH control and protection system. This ensures a continued, reliable and highly controllable power supply and enables advanced smart-grid studies for further grid optimisation in a timely manner, the company said.Patrick Fragman, managing director of ABB’s Grid systems business, said: “We pioneered HVDC technology and continue to lead the way through innovation, as with the latest control system being installed for this project. “The upgrade of the world’s first multi-terminal link reinforces ABB’s commitment to supporting customers through the lifecycle, and reiterates our focus on the service business, as part of our Next Level Strategy.”
Williams Partners has secured an approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Dalton Expansion project in northwest Georgia, USA.The project has been designed to deliver natural gas to an existing electric generating facility operated by Oglethorpe Power, Atlanta Gas Light, and the city of Cartersville.The development will include the construction of 185km of new steel pipe, ranging from 16-30 inches in diameter, from the existing Transco pipeline in Coweta County to new delivery points in Paulding and Murray Counties.The pipeline is being designed to transport about 448,000Dth of natural gas daily.Furthermore, the company is proposing to construct a new compressor facility in Carroll County, along with three new metering facilities and other related pipe and valve modifications to existing facilities.Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area, said: “The Dalton Expansion Project is one of several Transco projects creating much-needed access to northern natural gas supplies to meet growing demand in the South, particularly in the power-generation sector.”Work on the expansion project is scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2016 with completion aimed for 2017.The project is part of the company’s 2016 growth capital funding plan, which includes $1.3bn for Transco expansions and other interstate pipeline projects.
TransCanada, Sierra Oil & Gas and Grupo TMM have unveiled plans to develop a new refined products storage and transportation infrastructure system in Central Mexico.The $800M project will include the construction of a marine terminal near Tuxpan, Veracruz for offloading and distribution of refined products, a 265km refined products pipeline, and an inland storage and distribution hub.With a draft of 42ft, the marine terminal will feature four docking positions. The terminal will be pipeline-connected to key distribution centres in the region and will offer racks for truck loading and barge access to service the demand of other ports in the Gulf Coast.The pipeline, with an approximate daily capacity of 100,000 barrels of refined products, will run parallel to TransCanada's recently awarded Tuxpan-Tula natural gas pipeline project.
Alliant Energy is set to invest about $1bn to expand its wind energy operations in Iowa, USA.The company’s Iowa utility is seeking regulatory approval to expand its Whispering Willow Wind Farm in Franklin County and develop wind energy in other areas of the state.The five-year project will add up to 500MW of annual clean energy capacity. Alliant Energy is targeting a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 to 2030.Doug Kopp, the company's president of Iowa utility, said: “Our customers expect low-cost, clean energy, which is exactly what this project will bring to the communities we serve.“Wind has no fuel costs and zero emissions, making it a win-win for Iowans and the Iowa economy.”The new wind project will create more than 1,500 construction jobs in the region.
EUS-Rokstad, a joint venture between Emera Utility Services and Rokstad Power, has been awarded a £86m contract by NSP Maritime Link for the construction of its Maritime Link Project in Canada.
A joint venture between Kenny Construction and Obayashi has secured a $279m contract to build the South Hartford Conveyance and Storage Tunnel (SHCST) in Hartford, Connecticut.
SapuraKencana Petroleum subsidiary SapuraKencana Mexicana has won a $113M contract for the construction of a gas pipeline in Campeche, Mexico.Under the contract, awarded by Pemex Exploración y Producción, SapuraKencana will be responsible for the procurement and construction of a 36-inch diameter, 18km-long Sour Gas Pipeline from) in Ciudad del Carmen.The scope of work includes transportation and installation of pipelines, crossings, top side modifications and subsea works, including procurement and project management.Construction work is scheduled to commence in July 2016 and will be completed by March 2017.
Canadian power utility Kineticor Resource has signed long-term agreements with multiple oil and gas producers to build, own and operate the 100MW Peace River power project in Alberta, Canada. The $100M project will use the associated gas produced as a result of heavy oil production near Peace River to create clean energy. The power generated will supply about 90,000 homes. The development will reduce flaring emissions from oil and gas operations, contributing to Canada's commitment to reduce methane emissions from the sector by at least 40%. Kineticor CEO Andrew Plaunt said: "The project is reducing both costs and emissions typically associated with natural gas processing and distribution to a power plant by producing power directly on-site."This reduces the emissions intensity and cost base required for clean, efficient and reliable power production in the province, while offering producers in the Peace River area an attractive and economic solution to conserve their associated gas."The project will create up to 120 construction jobs and is expected to be operational by the second half of 2017, subject to regulatory and environmental approval.
Adding capacity to the over-tasked wastewater system in Mexico City, an alignment through changing ground conditions is a likely candidate for Robbins’ Crossover TBM, Nicole Robinson reports.In the mountains northwest of Mexico City, the soft rock is self-supporting and very consolidated, a dream to mine. "Even the face is self-supporting," says Roberto Gonzalez, Robbins' general manager in Mexico. "You could use a normal backhoe and excavate like that. It's a beautiful ground to bore."But the alignment crosses valleys of tuff, faults and finishes with a stretch of soft ground with low cover. This is the scenario for Túnel Emisor Poniente II (TEP II), or the English translation of West Drainage Tunnel II.Conagua, Mexico's national water commission, is building the 5.9km-long tunnel with a 7m i.d. to reduce flooding in the area, and increase wastewater capacity. Across three municipalities, some 2.1 million people will benefit from the tunnel project.The contractor joint venture of Aldesa, Proacon and Recsa chose an 8.7m diameter, dual-mode type machine capable of "crossing over" between rock and EPB. With the August 2015 tunnel boring machine (TBM) launch on TEP II, manufacturer Robbins has supplied its first Crossover machine in Mexico.End gameRobbins draws comparisons to the Kargi Kizilirmak hydroelectric project in Central Turkey. The design of the TEP II machine was based largely on experience from past projects, and that TBM in particular. While initial reports on the Turkey project showed fractured hard rock, Robbins explains, within 80m of launch the geology became substantially more difficult than expected, consisting of blocky rock, sand, clays and water-bearing zones. The machine required multiple bypass tunnels and major modifications before it could resume excavation.Robbins says these modifications proved instrumental to the design of its Crossover TBMs, including the TEP II machine.In Mexico, the contractor JV expects to convert the machine from hard rock to EPB mode due to changing ground conditions in the last kilometre of the alignment. "Initially the proposal was a hard rock machine but they found they have 800m of water-more EPM conditions-that's the reason we proposed a Crossover," explains Javier Alcala, job site engineer for Robbins on TEP II.The ground conditions at TEP II are complex, from competent to weathered volcanic rock to clay, and sand. The final 800m is also the portion of the alignment with the lowest cover, some 12m, and the most populated. This is one of the reasons for using a Crossover machine. The rest of the drive has between 50-60m of cover on average with some stretches up to 150m."We try not to convert unless it's completely necessary because you stop, you have to drain the screw conveyor inside the machine, and you have to make a lot of changes, for example on the cutterhead," Robbins' Gonzalez explains.As an open mode machine boring in rock, the TBM is equipped in the event of entering running ground, he says. "These closure doors are able to maintain the material in the cutting chamber. They're just a safety." In smaller valleys of tuff there is potentially some water, but it's unknown for now, he explains."For these cases we believe that these closure doors will be held to see what we have to do with the material, if we have to consolidate in the front."Tight fitAldesa's Castillo says one of the biggest accomplishments on the project so far has been organising the logistics in such a small work space-fewer than 10,000 sq m. The JV excavated a 30m deep launch shaft supported by 800mm-thick Milan walls (slurry walls), and used on-site first time assembly, he says, to start excavation as soon as possible.Once assembled by gantry crane, the machine bored 100m before adding back gantries. When completely assembled the machine has nine gantries for a total length of 1,030m.At the time Tunnels & Tunnelling visited the project, the crews were still adjusting to having the full machine in operation, and had only recently started using the continuous conveyors for muck.The TBM was mining through a transition zone between tuffs and dacites, and had excavated 435m by mid November 2015. At the time of publication the TBM has bored 1,417.5m, which equates to 945 rings. The best day has seen an advancement of 42.8m and the best week is 185.1m. Robbins' Mexico office reports the TBM has reached softer geology and is boring very well.Tunnelling is expected to finish within this year and a second lining of reinforced concrete will be installed following excavation to extend the life of the tunnel. "Once we arrive to the final bit, it's a very close curve of 400m radius," Alcala explains.The tunnel alignment ends along the rivers of San Javier and Xochimanga in Atizapan de Zaragoza.
Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA) has begun construction on the 65MW Chisholm View II wind farm in Oklahoma, USA.Chisholm View II is an expansion of the existing 235MW Chisholm View wind farm. When completed, it will bring the site’s total installed capacity to 300MW.The $90M project, owned by EGPNA subsidiary Enel Kansas, will be able to generate over 240M kWh annually — the equivalent to the energy consumption needs of more than 19,000 US households. The power generated from the wind farm will be sold under a bundled, long-term power purchase agreement.The wind farm will eliminate more than 126,000t of CO2 emissions each year. EGPNA’s head Rafael Gonzalez said: "With the construction of Chisholm View II, EGPNA is further reinforcing its rapid growth strategy in the United States.“The new plant is part of our ongoing commitment to expand our operations in North America where we continue to reach new milestones, including a record 800 MW currently under construction.”The wind farm is expected to be operational by the end of 2016.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission has given the go-ahead to a $250M wind farm project in Hettinger and Stark Counties, North Dakota.The Brady II Wind Energy Center will have a capacity of about 150MW and will comprise up to 72 wind turbines that are expected to be located in Hettinger County. Underground electrical collection systems and cables are expected to be located in Stark County.The project will cover an area of about 17,762 acres in northern Hettinger County and nearly 2,554 acres in Stark County. Permanent structures are expected to cover an area of about 74 acres during operation.Commissioner Brian Kalk said: “Each wind project is unique in some way and the Commission continues to work through issues within our jurisdiction to find the best solution for each project and at the same time respecting the role of the counties in the process.“As wind projects continue to come before us, we are committed to continue working with the Association of Counties to plan ahead for all types of energy development.” The new facility will be located adjacent to the southern boundary of the 150MW first Brady Wind project that secured the Commission’s approval last month. It will feature up to 87 turbines in Stark County.