Rock Island Dam modernization bid approved: $41.8M

Rock Island Dam modernization bid approved: $41.8M
modernization bid approved: $41.8M

Rock Island Dam modernization bid approved: $41.8M

The Chelan Public Utility District Board of Commissioners awarded a $41.8 million bid to Andritz Hydro Corporation, an Austrian company, at its last meeting, a "special" one, on Dec. 30. “This is a great opportunity for the district and its customer-owners,” stated General Manager Steve Wright. He said “By acting today (Dec. 30), we can take advantage of a $1.24 million discount and the four Rock Island operating units, B1 – 4, could be returned to service six months earlier than we thought if all safety concerns related to acceleration can be met.”
Andritz Hydro, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, is a globally leading supplier of plants, equipment, and services for hydropower stations. The project has an estimated completion date of mid-December 2019.
"Andritz  offered an alternate option that would take three units down at one time, at a lower cost and would end up being completed six months earlier than previous estimates. The early completion would mean the units are available prior to the PUD’s “check in” for its Habitat Conservation Plan. Under the proposed schedule, the district gets greater flexibility to address any future unplanned outages at Rock Island as well, according to a PUD spokeswoman.
“There is a sense of legacy with this dam, since it is the oldest one on the Columbia River,” said Commission President and Cashmere orchardist Randy Smith. “It’s a proud moment to move forward with this modernization work and to have the oldest turbines on the Columbia River be replaced by the newest turbines. Not bad given 85 years of operations at Rock Island.”
The turbine blades in the four units, vintage 1931, have cracks in them and have long since been taken off-line.
"Our services help achieve the highest equipment availability and optimum performance over the entire life-cycle of our products. In addition to traditional maintenance, repair, troubleshooting, and spare parts, Andritz specialists are available to inspect, audit, and recommend process improvements and upgrade opportunities. Specialized services for rebuilding and rehabilitating equipment extend and expand the economic return on asset investments. Technical and operational support is available 24/7, often utilizing remote diagnostic tools to speed up response time and minimize travel costs," according to the Andritz  website.The bid passed unanimously and the PUD board authorized its staff to move forward with updated plans for modernization by the multinational corporation that has American offices in Charlotte, North Carolina and Spokane, Washington.
Andritz Hydro is a global supplier of electromechanical systems and services for hydropower plants and a leader in the world market for hydraulic power generation. Its motto is “from water-to-wire.“
"Hydropower is the most economical form of renewable energy. In close cooperation with its customers, Andritz Hydro elaborates long-living, environmentally friendly and economically efficient solutions for hydraulic power generation. Maintaining the natural environment, mankind and technology in perfect harmony is an important part of Andritz Hydro’s corporate culture," according to company public relations statements.
The company boasts "175 years of accumulated experience in turbine design with more than 30,000 turbines  installed globally and more than 120 years of experience in electrical equipment."
Andritz Hydro has more than 50 locations in more than 25 countries worldwide. The company is organized in five main divisions including: Large hydro, service and rehab, compact hydro, turbo generators and pumps.
The group gets its name from the Austrian district of Andritz in which it is located. Its parent company, Andritz AG, is headquartered in Graz, Austria and also supplies services to the pulp and paper industry, metalworking and steel industries, and for solid/liquid separation in the municipal and industrial sectors. The publicly listed technology group has a staff of around 25,700 employees worldwide operating at 250 sites.
In other commission business: PUD Managing Director of Customer Utilities John Stoll said there are three sites for the district to evaluate in both Leavenworth and Chelan. Community meetings are planned for both communities in early February, with a report back to commissioners at the first commission meeting in March. Final recommendation is expected at the second meeting in March.
The Chelan PUD normally meets the first and third Monday of the month at 10 a.m., 327 N. Wenatchee Avenue. The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 6.

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