ALE Assists in Powering Houston’s Growth
The Houston metropolitan area has seen population growth far in advance of the US average for decades, growing some 35% since 1990. Predicting a shortfall of 1.2 gigawatts without action by 2022, it sought to concentrate existing power generation facilities through the construction of the new Montgomery County Power Station adjacent to the existing facilities.
With the start of the operation due two years after breaking ground, maintaining high levels of efficiency to keep the project to schedule was imperative. This required experience in undertaking complex lifts in an environment where space is increasingly a factor.
ALE’s experience, honed during projects on both existing and newbuild plants, was vital in lifting many of the plant’s major components. Their scope was to lift a total of 29 modules ranging from 200t (220 US tons) to 285t (315 US tons), over a four-month period.
The most complex of these lifts was the verticalization of two Heat Recovery Steam Generator modules. Measuring around 30m x 4m x 4m (98 ft x 13ft x 13ft), this required a tandem lift procedure involving both 750t (827 US tons) and 600t (660 US tons) capacity ALE cranes.
Notable additional modules ALE lifted during this period include two gas turbines, three transformers, two generators and a steam turbine. Once complete, these modules will help to deliver 993 MW of power to Texan homes.
ALE supplied an expert crew to undertake these lifts, backed up by its global power generation projects team. Key equipment included three crawler cranes rated at 800t (880 US tons), 600t (660 US tons) and 250t (275 US tons) capacity, SPMTs and a full jack and slide system, allowing complex positioning manoeuvres.
This equipment is deployed strategically around the globe to provide the highest levels of availability for active projects. For this reason, the crawler cranes were delivered and assembled on site within a month of the project award date.
The Montgomery County Power Station will begin operation in 2021, creating 25 permanent jobs and have a predicted $1 billion of total economic impact on the region.
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