Independence Excavating, Inc. (IX) was chosen by American Electric Power (AEP) to perform select decommissioning, civil and demolition services at the Big Sandy plant. Work was performed to support AEPs efforts to convert Unit 2 from a coal fired power plant to natural gas. Structures demolished included the former coal conveyors, coal crushing house, underground hoppers and tunnels, site transformers, warehouses, above ground storage tanks and removal a 10,000 gallon diesel UST and 2,500 gallon gasoline UST.
The demolition work scope most notably included the implosion of a 370 foot tall hyperbolic cooling tower. This is only the third hyperbolic cooling tower in the United States to be demolished. IX’s subcontractor, Dykon Explosive Demolition, performed the actual tower implosion and IX demolition crews processed the nearly 12,000 tons of concrete. A track mounted jaw crusher was subsequently mobilized to the site to crush the concrete to enable reuse of the material as backfill.
In addition, to the above work items IX also performed the following scope:
- Removal, packaging and disposal of nearly 4,000 linear feet of sodium cable. Due to sodium strong exothermic reaction when in contact with water, all cable was cut into one foot sections, placed in mineral oil and transported for off-site incineration;
- Removal of nearly 25,000 yards of coal residues from the former coal pile storage area. IX capped the footprint of the coal pile with approximately 39,000 yards of material sourced from an in designated borrow location. IX utilized our in-house services to perform all engineering, surveying and final site as-builts;
- Engineering and permitting to allow work within a designated floodplain; and
Critical lifts for select dismantling of a large transformer and coal conveyors in and around the existing power plant utilizing (2) 550TN hydraulic cranes.