Pumping Up the Power At Missouri Coal Plant
After lengthy delays caused by environmental concerns, a coal fired power plant is being built at Weston, Missouri by Kansas City Power and Light. And after a lengthy time away from the business, the pumper on the project is back in a big way. The $1 billion Iatan 2 power plant will supply 850 megawatts of power and will be located next to an existing power plant. ACI Concrete Placement in Olathe s a new owner Matt Kaminsky who scored the pumping contract after owning the company for only a few months, but he brought a wealth of experience with him.
No stranger to the market or pumping, Kaminsky worked for CPI in Kansas City for eight years. When owner Ed Lothamer sold the company, Kaminsky took the opportunity to utilize his Business Administration degree and became a partner in a successful insurance firm for eight years. “I didn’t look good in a suit and tie,” Kaminsky notes, and having worked his way up from yard boy to pump operator to manager with CPI, “Concrete pumping is in my blood.”
When the biggest project in the area came up for bid last summer, Kaminsky’s then start-up firm, won the contract and it came with a bonus of sorts – the biggest pumping firm in the area that bid against him decided to sell out to ACI. Since coming onto the power plant site in September 2007, ACI has been there almost everyday performing nearly 200 pours, averaging 148 yards. “The pours vary in size from as large as 2,000 cubic yards to 100 square foot pads that might take 25 yards,” Kaminsky states.
The project is making up for lost time with a dozen cranes on site swinging steel in anticipation of deck pours, slabs and walls. On one ten level structure, ACI has 580-feet of system set-up to reach all of the corners of the tower from one location. Because of the maze of utilities and pipes, ACI’s operator will hook into the system which is routed throughout the building. With nearly 200-feet of boom pipe in addition to the 580-feet of system, the S 61 SX is operating at only half the system pressure. One yard of grout primes the line then radio communications keep the operators informed of starts and stops.
Where access exists, the operator uses the full 184’2” horizontal reach and 196’10” vertical reach of the S 61 SX boom. “The way the boom unfolds really helps us to access difficult areas,” explains Kaminsky, “The operator tilts the main section back and guides the other three sections in among the existing steel to get as deep into the structure as possible.”
According to Rich Newman, Balance of Plant Area Manager for General Contractor Kiewit Power Constructors, of Overland Park, KS ( a subsidiary of Peter Kiewit and Sons, headquartered in Omaha, NE,) “Because most of the manpower in constructing a power plant is in the electrical and piping, those trades get started first and the concrete tends to work around them.” Newman expects more than 35,000 cubic yards to be pumped on the project. “In choosing a pumping firm we look for availability and size of equipment, along with plenty of equipment inventory. Matt has supplied all of those along with good customer service.”
“It is very crowded on the site and we use our Schwing 61 because it can get up close with the Super X outriggers. The front outrigger spread is only 29 feet 2 inches, which really maximizes our horizontal reach” Kaminsky explained. “The mix design is fairly easy to pump, but they are adding calcium in eighty degree weather – which is generally used to keep the concrete from freezing – but in the warm weather it gets the finishers off the slabs sooner.”
Because of his acquisitions (he also bought out a Wichita pumper), Kaminsky has four different brands of pumps in his fleet, “I generally send my Schwings to the power plant. It is just such a high visibility project for us and I want to put my best foot forward, “ he explained, “I grew up on Schwings and you can abuse them and they just keep on pumping.” ACI also has the versatile 47-meter and 39-meter booms on the project on any given day. “On the larger pours with two pumps, the contractor wants 300 cubic yards per hour, “Kaminsky said, “We have no problem delivering.”
ACI’s S 61 SX is equipped with the long stroking 2525H-6 Generation 3 pumpkit. With 10-inch diameter cylinders and 98-inch stroke, the pump delivers more concrete per stroke than any other pump in his fleet. The result is a smoother boom which is very important when we are hooked into system, “ according to Kaminsky, “Plus fewer strokes mean less boom maintenance and less wear, which I like as a business owner.”
Kiewit and the utility company maintain strict safety on the site. All workers are subject to drug testing and must participate in a safety orientation before being allowed at Iatan 2. “The contractor sees the benefit of Vector Controls which also have the Spread Spectrum radio remote features which prevent interference with other radio signals on the site for safety, “explained Kaminsky, “The Vector also allows operators to monitor critical functions of the pump through LED displays on the remote box which aids in productivity. Plus, the data from each pour is stored on the controller for record keeping.”
Kiewit Power Constructor’s, brings extensive experience in building power generating facilities to the Iacan 2 project. “There has never been a better time to be in the business of designing, constructing and assisting with the start-up of power projects in North America,” said Kiewit Power President Doug Patterson. The company’s power division recently broke ground for a new headquarters building in nearby Lenexa, KS.
And for Matt Kaminsky and ACI Concrete Placement, there has never been a better time to be in the pumping business, “This is a great industry, I’m glad to be back.”
Project: Iatan 2 Power Plant, Weston, Missouri
Owner: Kansas City Power and Light, Kansas City, Missouri
General Contractor: Kiewit Power Constructors, of Overland Park, KS ( a subsidiary of Peter Kiewit and Sons, headquartered in Omaha, NE,)
Concrete Contractor: ACI Concrete Placement, Olathe, Kansas
Equipment: Schwing S 61 SX, S 47 SX and KVM 39X