We are enormously proud and congratulate our APM U.S. Boiler division for receiving the TAUC Joseph R. LaRocca Union Project of the Year Award at TAUC’s Leadership Conference for the outstanding work that was executed for NRG at the Homer City Generating Station. The Fall 2018 Unit SCR Upgrade project was mobilized in early September, the outage began at the beginning of October, and the project was completed in late November.
Our manpower on this job peaked at 68 craftspeople, made up of boilermakers, pipefitters, laborers, operators, iron workers, and electricians. This outage was exceptional due to the collaboration, exceptional quality, thorough planning, and adamant commitment to safety.
We encouraged teamwork from the start with a Leadership Orientation that set the expectation of inter-trade cooperation throughout the project. The pipefitters and boilermakers took this to heart, working side-by-side and sharing work to prevent setbacks and to remain on schedule. This successful tackling of challenges as a team was noticed by both management and the customer.
The quality of engineering was exceptional, making this a quality job from start to finish. All piping was fabricated with no field cuts required. The duct pieces fit better than average. Welding Engineering approved utilization of FCAW welding in the duct and on piping, reducing project welding time by 33% and increasing the quality of the welds. Piping welds were examined, and it was determined they could be welded pre-installation. Just under 50% were welded on the ground, which required less scaffolding and field fit up time. Piping welds were UT inspected; allowing other tasks to be performed concurrently, saving both time and costs. Thirty-nine welds were completed and 14 were UT inspected with ZERO rejects.
The planning for this project began months in advance of the outage and involved all appropriate parties, including the assigned Superintendents. At APM, we strive to demonstrate our firm belief that with pre-job planning and site mobilization, jobs can be executed safely, on-budget, and on-time. Project costs and scheduling were tracked in real time, which provided transparency and visibility that allowed work flows to be adjusted as needed to facilitate NRGs outage activities. This reduced the amount of crane usage. Additionally, during demolition of the existing Ammonia Injection Grid, a lift plan was developed utilizing a picking rig. As a result, the total number of lifts was reduced from 45 to only 9.
The project had an excellent safety culture which resulted in an excellent safety record with ZERO recordable injuries. The jobsite had outstanding housekeeping and full engagement from all craft in the Safety Task Analysis (“STA”) meetings and safety briefings. Safe rigging practices were utilized and the overall safety culture was built to promote proactive behaviors, leveraging the Commitment-Based Safety (“CBS”) philosophy, safety recognition program, stop work authority, detailed hazard hunts, and craft and customer involvement. We set the expectation for all to remain mindful about their risks – every task all day long.
We applied CBS to our daily STA step, where every employee was asked to personally choose a few of the key risks from the STA card and challenge themselves to think more about the risks of each task throughout the course of the day. To keep people inspired, we utilized Spot Recognition Rewards which consisted of Sportex Tickets, hats, and t-shirts. These were distributed by Superintendents to craftsmen who contributed towards the “Zero Deviations” culture while fostering a safe and incident-free workplace.
It is an extreme honor to receive the TAUC Joseph R. LaRocca Union Project of the Year Award, and we thank everyone involved in making this project successful. We have once again upheld our standard of excellence and sent our folks home safe, inspired, and proud of a job well done!