Repowering Project Upgrades May Run through 2013


Lamar Light Plant Repowering Project, East View

ARPA, Arkansas River Power Authority, provided utility board members with a written update on the status of the Repowering Project.  The boiler manufacturer, Babcock and Wilcox, has continued to make modifications to allow the unit to operate at maximum potential without exceeding emissions limitations stipulated in the light plant air quality permit.  To date, the bulk of the equipment needed for the modifications is expected by late May.  Once installed, tests will be run to determine if the operations meet expectations.  If that occurs, ARPA will make arrangements to conduct regulatory testing.  Complete testing and tuning should start by late summer and take between 90 to 120 days to complete.  On that schedule, testing may run through to the end of 2013.  At the same time, ARPA has been negotiating for a continued outside power supply source, purchasing electricity off the grid.  The plant has been offline since the December before last.  Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, ARPA will place the plant in cold standby for the foreseeable future. 

The updated information also references on-going and probable future negotiations between the boiler manufacturer, Babcock and Wilcox over financial responsibilities.  Quoting the memo, “The testing schedule is also predicated on successful negotiations with B&W.  It is ARPA’s position that the current emission issues with the boiler are due to faulty boiler design and as such, it is B&W’s sole responsibility to cure.  To date, B&W has engineered the boiler modifications and procured and delivered the equipment at its cost.  It has also released engineering for modifications that it considers outside its responsibilities reserving its rights to recover those engineering costs through the negotiations.” 

The memo noted that B&W acknowledges its obligation to provide a boiler that will comply with the Plant’s air quality permit and has contractually guaranteed, among other items, boiler efficiency. 

Lamar Utility Board officers from 2012 were carried over into 2013 in separate voting during the bi-monthly meeting Tuesday, February 26.  Don Steerman will serve as chairman, David Anderson as vice-chair, John Lefferdink as board attorney, Houssin Hourieh as Light Plant Superintendent and each of the board members are authorized to sign checks.  New signature cards will be issued to each member. 

During the meeting, the Stuart Kirby Cooper Company was low bidder for pad mount transformers that had been included in the 2013 budget and was awarded the contract for $21,653.  The board also approved a bid for lighting fixtures and light poles for downtown Lamar for $21,326 from Western United; a company the Light Plant has done business with in past years.  Superintendent Hourieh told the board that with the help of CIRSA, the plant’s insurance agent, Morgan AM&T settled for an insurance claim of $27,500.  The sum is for replacement of faulty wind turbine generator brushes that damaged slip rings on the turbines.  Previously, the brush manufacturer agreed to replace the brushes, but would not be held liable for the slip rings.  The labor for part replacement and for lost electricity generation amounted to $13,000 and was not recoverable.  The next utility board meeting will be held Tuesday, March 12.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCitycommunityCountyEconomyEnergyFeaturedHollyLamarProwers CountyUtilities


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