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R.A. Kuchner J.A. Hines The Babcock & Wilcox Company Barberton, Ohio, U.S.A.
Presented to: Power-Gen International 2002 December 10-12, 2002 Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.
The retrofitting of power plants with NOx control technologies is a cost-intensive undertaking facing many utilities. Key to controlling the economic impact to the utility is the effective execution of these projects. B&W has successfully designed and installed a number of Selective Catalytic Reduction systems for both gas- and coal-fired boilers. The success of these installations is a direct result of the key decisions made during and the integrated techniques applied to the design and installation of these systems. The systems are comprised predominantly of flues, ducts, structural steel, reactors, catalyst, and ammonia systems, but may also need to include modifications to the existing boiler or its ancillary equipment. The magnitude of the project can range from 10s to upwards of 100 million dollars depending on the size of the units, the extent of the modifications needed, and site-specific conditions and requirements. The cost of the engineered equipment and the associated cost of installation are about equal in magnitude. Most system installations are retrofit projects. Optimizing the design of these unit-specific systems and the associated installation of these large components in typically restricted spaces during the minimum duration outage(s) involve a number of compromises and decisions. Typically these projects involve hundreds or thousands of tons of structural and plate steel and hundreds of thousands of manhours of field labor. The deci-
sions and the process used to orchestrate them into an effective project will be discussed and placed into an economic perspective. The paper will highlight some of the key opportunities for controlling Selective Catalytic Reduction project costs.
The promulgation of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 caused many fossil-fired electric generating plants to install or plan for the installation of Selective Catalytic Reduction systems (SCRs) on their existing boilers to reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx). These systems are typically installed in the flue gas stream between the boiler’s economizer and air heater. The systems consist of a reactor(s) housing the catalyst, flues or flue modifications to deliver and return the flue gases to the reactor, control dampers or bypasses, the structural steel required to support the new equipment, ammonia delivery system, and possibly modifications to the boiler or its ancillary equipment to deliver flue gases within the required temperature range. Boiler and ancillary equipment modifications might also include the costly stiffening of the boiler enclosure, flues and precipitator. For many natural-gas-fired installations, the catalyst required to achieve the desired or required level of NOx reduction may be small enough to be installed in a flue section between the boiler and air heater. Often the flue section need only be flared
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Figure 2 illustrates a large. Even though this increased field labor cost can be offset to some extent by improvements in labor productivity. The Figure 2 Large. In the last few years. but these are beyond the focus of this paper. 2 Babcock & Wilcox . the back end of the boiler must undergo a major revision to enable the installation of the much larger catalyst-containing reactor(s). reactor and structural steel) within the traditionally congested region between the back of the boiler and the precipitator. For most coal-fired applications. The delivered material cost is the cost of catalyst. dampers. gas-fired installation. Until recently. These retrofit projects require the economical integration of the SCR equipment (including the necessary flues. gas-fired SCR installation. the SCR must be considered as part of the entire boiler/air pollution control equipment system. structural steel. Figure 1 illustrates an in-line. For a quality installation. while experiencing moderately increased costs of field labor. The generating capacity of this unit is 340 MWe.Figure 1 In-line. out and the reactor supported. a current project model would reveal that installation costs can now be 55-65 percent of the total project cost. we have been able to lower the cost of supplying the engineered materials. 900 MWe coal-fired installation. The erection costs are predominantly craft labor and equipment rentals. the cost of engineering and supplying the materials was approximately equal to the cost of erection. coal-fired SCR installation. All components must function effectively as an integrated system. and potentially fans and air heaters (or modifications thereof). Obviously the performance and function of the entire system must be accurately considered during the overall design process. plate work for the flues and reactors. Except for a few recent new boiler installations. The economic success of an SCR project is largely dependent on how well the system is arranged and how easily it can be constructed. SCR installations are retrofit projects.
As an adjunct to the definition of scope. The significant design and construction decisions must be made in ways which balance the “scope. engineering and the erector produce a higher quality. One joint meeting will start the process. The scope description and division (assignment) of responsibility establishes the course the project team will travel. to advance and evolve the design. This balance is best managed by focusing the SCR design activities on achieving the most efficient SCR construction plan. well before the involvement of the construction manager and/or superintendent. flues and reactors are the schedule-critical components and usually require the staged integration of each of these components. Integrated Design Process The key steps in designing an SCR retrofit project are: 1. Perform joint project management. flues. this span is dependent upon the number of units to be retrofit. the availability of field labor? Babcock & Wilcox 3 . Retrofit projects are impacted by numerous site-specific constraints that may lengthen the overall project. Define the scope—explicitly 2. engineering and construction reviews of the design 5. while minimizing the material costs. the configuration of the SCR components. The importance of scope definition becomes magnified when subcontractors are employed. and require close attention to schedule integration. the effort must be a process. schedule and cost” triangle to benefit not just engineering or the erector but the overall project. but can be devastating to the project budget and schedule when first recognized during the construction process.and coal-fired units of various capacities. the systems are typically erected by alternately installing steel. knowledge and concerns of these three key project disciplines yields significant benefits. reactors and associated structural steel govern the complexity of the project and significantly impact the erection costs. SCR projects typically span 15 to 30 months from award to startup. These components represent a significant portion of the design effort. Figure 3 Delicate balance for a successful SCR project. precipitator and stack. and reduces the probability of omitted scope and ineffective handoffs. the common spatial understanding of the location of the new equipment in respect to the existing faciliTable 1 Typical Quantities (Tons) of Steel for SCR Systems Gas–fired Units Structural steel Flues / ducts Reactor Coal-fired Units Structural steel Flues / ducts Reactor 340 MW e 40 20 40 270 MW e 850 380 320 750 MW e 790 720 270 900 MW e 1800 700 840 ties completes the definition of the project for all members of the design and construction team. However. It must be continuous to advance and evolve the design to achieve the project goals—high quality product. Define the general arrangement of all components in concert with the existing structures and equipment 3. Some of the key decisions that need to be addressed by the team are: • What is the best physical arrangement of the equipment? • How do we support the equipment? • Do we use the existing or new steel? • What gets done pre-outage. Without an explicit scope definition. and postoutage? • What are the planned / available outages and the erection sequence? • What access exists? What do we do to provide the required access? • Do we modularize in the shop. developing an integrated project schedule and making sound cost-based decisions and trade-offs becomes a game of chance. Iterate through 2. in the field or not at all? • What is. 3 and 4 above. Interferences are relatively inexpensive to resolve at the design stage. This results in the lowest overall project cost. To execute a successful SCR project the delicate balancing of the “scope. schedule and cost” triangle must be managed (see Figure 3). the complexity of the installation and the utility’s planned outage schedule.layout of the existing boiler system and the SCR-related flues. low cost and schedule compliance. but a series of periodic meetings generates the benefits. Explicitly defining the scope early in the process and assuring that all project team members share a common understanding of that scope are essential. during the outage. and how do we manage. The required quantities of these materials vary considerably from project to project based on the existing configuration of the boiler. Installation of the steel. Table 1 demonstrates some typical steel quantities for gas. more economical and timely project. Often the tendency is for project management and engineering to initiate the design process and begin the fabrication of materials. and reactor components until the structure and major components are in place. Define the construction approach—early in the process 4. not an event. Joint planning and ongoing review of the design by project management. Integrating the different perspectives. This approach is usually fraught with future project impediments. and the extent of NOx reduction required. system materials and erection cost. For example.
Components for large boilers and units without navigable water access warrant shop assembly of truck-shippable panels. Reinforcing usually includes replacing vertical and/or horizontal bracing. Again. and the optimized breakdown of shop versus field ground assembly. the two options usually considered are stacking preassembled rectangular modules. Obviously the deadweight (gravity load) of the SCR components is significant. The goal is to shop-assemble or ground-assemble in the field as large a segment as can be lifted and maneuvered into place through the supporting steel. 80 percent of the corrective actions on a steel installation are associated with connecting to or reinforcing the existing steel. Key inputs are crane lifting capacity at the site and for the specific installation points. more stringent code. or erecting fully assembled. construction approach and schedule decisions are being defined and when the key subcontractors must be integrated into the project. the choice is to take advantage of the existing steel and adequately reinforce it or to integrate new steel (columns and beams) within the existing building setting. This support early in the project provides the necessary attention to effectively address schedule-critical activities during the critical time frame when resources are typically overloaded. and when coupled with the flues and the reactor. For large flues and ducts. while the cost of reinforcing existing steel with extensive cover plating may be as great as 120-130 manhours per ton. and for coal-fired units. the manner in which the voluminous flues and the heavy and voluminous reactor are supported is a major consideration. and the implications of making changes to steel designed to older “codes” and having to upgrade the steel to the more recent. Although the cost per pound for the reinforcing steel may not be significantly different than that for new steel.). Other risks are inherently associated with the extensive use of existing (often 30 to 50 year old) building steel. the cost of installing and the risks associated with reinforcing existing steel are significantly greater than new steel. and touch-up painting can be quite extensive. lighting and communications cabling and various small-diameter piping which are normally hung from or attached to the faces of the structural steel. but via the process of the steel designer. For reactors. fabricator and erector working together and evolving the design throughout the design phase of the project. existing steel.A critical period occurs early in the project when the project scope. especially within the confines of the existing structure. One group focuses on technical issues. controls. gaining access to the steel usually requires extensive scaffolding. those persons can leave the project team and consult as required. a bridge consisting of a number of towers and trusses is used to support it above existing equipment. New steel does offer more options for the designer. as well as cover plating of existing members. Layout or routing is one issue and facilitating the efficient and safe installation is another. both must be addressed by the project team. site access clearances/obstruction considerations. These include: poorly documented changes to the steel structure over time. barge shipment of shop assembled and insulated modules is usually the more economical since it minimizes field assembly to the great- 4 Babcock & Wilcox . establishes the complexity of the project. Another consideration is the foundation requirements. installing piles and pouring foundations may or may not be practicable depending upon the existing conditions. the integration and optimization of the design of the structural steel is not accomplished at one meeting. bents and trusses is critical to minimizing total overall cost for the customer. sequencing for erection. which can then be assembled into the flues or reactors and insulated prior to erection. However. The reactor with its heavy catalyst is usually supported by a free-standing single tower(s). The new steel offers few restrictions. transportation limitations and cost for a particular jobsite. field welding is very labor intensive. experience demonstrates that input from the steel designer. ash entrainment (deposition). steel. piping. local and average velocities. The decision as to the amount of shop assembly for built-up columns. Experience has shown that for jobs involving “new steel” and “integrating or reinforcing existing steel. physical deterioration of the steel. Excavating. etc. preassembled modules are preferred. Once the general arrangements of the flues and reactor are defined. The planning for flue installation must include defining the segmentation of the flues. for the more congested sites. Typically the labor in the fabricator’s shop is considerably less costly than field labor. the physical layout. The design of this steel still must contend with the restrictions of existing equipment and the ability to provide adequate foundations. In this area.000. Some existing conditions may dictate the installation of the SCR along side the boiler or precipitator. independent steel or 2) reinforced. The two “options” for supporting these components are: 1) new. and flue and reactor fabricator(s). electrical. flat wall panels. but the size of the reactors and flues and their exposure to the wind can provide significant overturning (uplift) forces. Structural Steel Design The structural steel needed for an SCR retrofit is significant because it usually represents a sizeable cost. in many instances both types of steel are needed. Some erectors estimate that the cost for installing new steel is 15-20 manhours per ton. Two specialized groups exist at Babcock & Wilcox to assist the project manager by directing the subcontracts with the architect-engineering firm doing the balance of plant design (foundations.” the rework or corrective orders is much higher for the “reused” steel. the cost of assessing the design margin available in the steel. the erector and the fabricator are very important during the design phase and for developing the lowest cost steel design and lowest installation cost for the project. Flues and Reactor Design The flues and reactors needed for an SCR retrofit challenge the designer and erector because of the large size of these components which must be installed in typically very congested spaces. but SCR steel is also not a “greenfield” installation. Once these specialized functions are executed. governs the project schedule. However. Weaving the lengths of cover plating into the existing structure is often a difficult and time consuming task. and the extent of the modifications required to accommodate the new loads. thus minimizing the much more difficult and labor-intensive assembly process at elevation. and the other focuses on commercial and interface issues. thermal expansion. Typically. the structural steel fabricator. The flues leading to and from the reactor must be routed from high within the boiler building to the external SCR. local pressures. and determining how and where to fabricate the segments. general arrangement. Despite the transportation cost which may be on the order of $500. A significant additional cost associated with cover plating is the removal and reinstallation of the electrical. Flue sizing and layout must address pressure drop.
In most instances. Once those initial flues are set. into and through the support steel on site. tie-in steel or cover-plating the existing structure usually needs to be accomplished prior to loading the new structure. it provides valuable information and knowledge about the material to be received. Receiving material far in advance of the time required at the job. If not caught early. including access. The engineers should be made aware of the construction / erection plan and provide minimum steel to be installed to support the erection sequence. The lugs and supports needed to move large assemblies of flue or reactor sections within the fabricator’s shop and insulating area are not necessarily those appropriate for loading and stacking barges. Simple lifting attachments exemplify this requirement. the greater the potential for a lower cost project. the required amount of planning is considerably greater for delivering shop-assembled modules. however. or in a sequence that does not support planned erection. To allow maximum flexibility for installation. Other times. The resulting erection sequence can then be used in establishing schedule priorities for detail design. This may require close coordination with the engineers who design the structure to ensure the uncompleted structure is adequate to support the initial duct sections installed. steel progresses again to the point where additional flue sections can be set and the reactor built. Ideally. this activity will provide the project team the opportunity to review and approve the shop’s plan for panelization. sound judgments must be made based on experience. insulated and barged to the site. Many times the module boundaries are easily identified. due to equipment terminal points or expansion joint locations. Careful attention to these and many other details is needed to assure the desired economic benefit. Figure 5 Flue segmentation for a 900 MW e coal-fired unit. It is also possible to suggest alternative shipping units that may save costly field labor and improve on-site productivity. The integration of numerous design considerations must be addressed early in the project by the project manager. coal-fired installation had 31 segments of flues with some weighing up to 50 tons. In addition. the erector should review and comment based on constructability.Figure 4 Barge shipment of shop fabricated and insulated modules. for offloading. Figure 5 illustrates the extent of segmentation necessary to efficiently and economically erect SCR flues for a 900 MWe coal-fired unit. all being shop modularized. Many times the existing Sequencing and Modularization Early in the project. the steel and flues are installed in a defined sequence to maximize the efficiency of the erection and to complete the work in the minimum time. The more preassembly done on the ground or in the fabricator’s shop. it makes sense to prioritize those efforts in accordance with erection plans. or for maneuvering the bulky modules up. It may also force the constructor to work on activities that deviate from the intended plan. horizontal runs of ductwork are bottom-supported. or at a minimum. efficiency and safety. Babcock & Wilcox 5 . Figure 4 shows a barge arriving at a job site with fully insulated flue and reactor modules. If the construction approach is to field assemble panels into modules. The erector is the prime contributor in determining splice locations that are best from a variety of standpoints. which means the support steel must first be installed beneath the duct. The benefits of this are twofold. crane capacity and geometry. This will involve building sufficient steel to set the outlet flues or bypass flues. missing or incorrect information could lead to costly rework. Once modules are identified and an erection sequence is established. only adds cost and burdens the job with additional material handling or overhead. First. Prior to the issuance of key design outputs. In nearly every large SCR project. specific information about the weights of ductwork sections and equipment has to be estimated. for tying down during shipment. The total number of flue segments is 52. These modules were shop fabricated. the project team can work with the plate fabricators on delivery. est extent and reduces the impact of potential field labor shortages. Many times a preliminary review can catch simple items such as missing or incorrect information. An ongoing project for a 380 MWe unit has plans for 35 segments weighing up to 130 tons. including the extent of work required on-site to pre-assemble modules. material procurement and fabrication. insulated and lagged. designer and erector to produce a quality and economical installation of flues and reactor(s). This recent 270 MWe. delays in production during critical path activities while waiting for revised engineering documents or pending engineering evaluation. this activity adds little to no cost to fabrication. Coverplating the existing steel can be a time-consuming and costly effort.
One of the most critical decisions is crane selection.000 to $130. as the steel is erected. limiting the window of opportunity for rigging components into place. can be several million dollars. Many SCR projects have schedules that overlap other SCR projects. “Constructability. available real estate and lay down area. These Field Labor. If the existing site soil conditions can not handle the loads. Large cranes (over 250 ton capacity) can range in cost from $30. fit-up bolts between adjacent panels or modules should be considered. without the need for temporary platforms or scaffold stair towers.000 per month. It may become necessary to react to labor shortages by paying travel and subsistence. scaffold brackets or fixtures can be installed on the ground prior to lifting the modules into place. This effort will focus on getting a clear gas path constructed and will include dampers and blanking plates to allow the balance of construction to take place subsequent to the tiein. and literally miles of cable and raceway. sometimes within the same labor region. which must be abated prior to any welding or grinding operations. 1997-2002. and transportation costs to the job can exceed $100. Since most SCR projects are retrofits. Work Force Leveling and Resource Requirements Time of performance should be a significant concern for both scheduling and cost. The blanking plates allow safe entry to the flues during plant operation. This makes the effort even more deliberate and requires close coordination with plant operations. Depending upon the SCR arrangement. and in many instances. Overall. large access doors can prove beneficial for workers and equipment. not when lifting a load. and a good construction plan will identify those modules that require scaffolding to access welding locations. The demands for construction labor have led to labor availability problems in several regions across the country. Also. total manpower requirements must consider not only the SCR project. If site conditions limit the crane size. For large projects posing unique or complicated arrangements. Also.steel is coated with lead-based paint. If this approach is taken. crane costs when projected over the duration of the project. can help improve productivity and limit adverse effects associated with weather and wind. the best crane for the project is not the one with the greatest capacity. Winds in excess of 25 mph can shut down crane operations. can a plan be developed. recognizing the total magnitude of the projects at site is a key first step. Figure 6 indicates how employment levels have increased over the course of the last few years. it is likely that there exist numerous interferences with plant utilities supported from columns or beams being modified. a determination must be made as to the limiting component of the rigging scheme. Many labor union locals are stretched to support a variety of projects. the largest module (or assembly) to be fabricated or ground assembled will be limited by the crane’s available hook (lifting) capacity.” and Access Each SCR project poses a unique set of circumstances. thousands of tons of structural steel and plate work. working overtime. hundreds of piles. It may be desirable to design alternative connections that bolt rather than weld in order to minimize the extent of abatement. Module identification assists in strategic door placement. labor rates have escalated during recent years.000. To adequately determine the manpower for a project. and ideally the identified modules will be self-supporting (even if this requires temporary shop-installed supports). It may be necessary (depending upon anticipated plant outages) to complete a unit tie-in prior to the SCR being constructed. or importing workers from outside the region. This can help the project proceed safely. either due to the plant’s geographic location. Each project starts with an estimated number of total manhours. In many instances. a door can be added if it helps the construction effort. If adequate space is available and crane size is not an issue. crane costs alone can exceed $250. Weather is another factor. Project economics may drive the decision away from the largest (and most expensive) crane. it will impact the erection sequence and potentially add to the cost of construction. two of these large cranes may be required. A comprehensive construction plan with its intended rigging scheme is therefore critical. Therefore. Another factor is the impact of the crane’s bearing pressures on existing soil. It can be a significant effort to put the right people at the right place at the right time. A significant amount of scaffolding is generally required. Once identified. or perhaps outside the country. access is limited with many interferences and obstructions. Due to the extensive work required inside the flues. crane selection can begin. Cranes. any permanent stairs. Once the weight of the largest component is identified. In addition. A typical SCR project can require the installation of 500 or more cubic yards of concrete. ladders. Additionally. There are literally miles of welding to be accomplished inside the reactor and ductwork. This self-supporting feature allows modules to be released from the crane rather than held in place until welded out or lashed off. The same issues hold true for qualified supervision. considerable dollars and labor are often required. Figure 6 Boilermaker national employment levels. Only by knowing the estimated hours.000 per month. To select the appropriate crane(s). platforms and handrails for the elevations should be delivered and installed. It is also important to note that most cranes experience the greatest load when merely raising a boom. 6 Babcock & Wilcox . as well as a breakdown of the work by craft jurisdiction and the time of performance. the optimal or largest module to be erected must be determined. and to address the fact that a significant portion of work will occur during planned maintenance outages. or interferences (both above and below grade). Flues should be bottom-supported where possible. These overlapping schedules can have significant impact on all resources including labor and equipment. but also the requirements to support the outages planned at each unit.
boilermaker work can be roughly 70-80% of the total direct manhours. These subcontracts are often awarded to contractors located near the job site to take advantage of lower overhead. with respect to the accuracy. the boilermakers for the last few years have been at or near full employment. This fact makes it difficult to recruit members to travel for project work when there is work in their home local. and neither The Babcock & Wilcox Company nor any of its employees shall be liable for any losses or damages with respect to or resulting from the use of. or the inability to use. It is critical to know that the right equipment for the job will be available when required. process or apparatus discussed in this work. P. The success of these capital-intensive installations is a direct result of the key decisions made before and during the project by the project manager. it may be necessary to bring in workers from outside the country (i. translated or reproduced in any form or by any means. Permission requests should be addressed to: Market Communications. If all of this fails to attract qualified labor. a McDermott company. The Babcock & Wilcox Company. On SCR projects.S. multi-disciplined approach must be a continuous process and must be aimed at evolving the design and the installation of the major components. Neither The Babcock & Wilcox Company nor any of its employees make any warranty. During the outage periods it is likely that additional overtime would be required. designer and erector working as a team. process or apparatus discussed in this work. completeness or usefulness of any information. electrical. or representation. Summary The retrofitting of a power plant with an SCR system is a cost-intensive effort. Canada). if labor availability continues to be a concern. this work is published with the understanding that The Babcock & Wilcox Company and the authors are supplying general information and are not attempting to render or provide engineering or professional services. No part of this work may be published. and a result of the integrated design and erection techniques applied throughout the project to structural steel.e. Babcock & Wilcox. Equipment is another key resource that requires planning relative to time of performance. guarantee. If executing an EPC project. For SCR projects. This may entail the issuance of purchase orders and incurring some costs well in advance of the date the equipment is needed merely to ensure its availability. Sometimes it may be necessary to lure prospective talent into a region. Perhaps it means that the standard workweek for a project in nonoutage periods is based upon 50 hours. the graph shows that nationally. subsistence packages might be required.A. but usually subcontracts and manages civil. This can include planning for and offering an extended workweek during periods of peak labor demand. and instrumentation and controls scope. Ohio. All rights reserved. Key to controlling both cost and quality is the effective execution of the project.O. This cooperative. Ideally. Finding qualified vendors in disparate regions can be challenging as well.This graph represents the utilization of available boilermaker resources. or incorporated into any information retrieval system. This can help to ensure labor availability and labor retention. without the written permission of the copyright holder. total equipment and non-labor costs can represent 10 – 20% of the project. During peak labor demand periods. Copyright © 2002 by The Babcock & Wilcox Company. performs the mechanical portion or metal trades portion of its work. but also to strategically align with the local economy. Babcock & Wilcox 7 . whether expressed or implied. other key resources impacted by time of performance include qualified subcontractors for field construction scope that is not self-performed. flues. product. U. there will be sufficient time to allow vendor qualification while the design is being developed and finalized. 44203-0351. product. any information. In essence. Disclaimer Although the information presented in this work is believed to be reliable. Barberton. ducts and reactors. Box 351. over and above the regular and overtime earnings. for example. All of these initiatives have been used successfully on projects that have experienced labor availability issues.