06 November 2018

Buzzi Unicem becomes member of the Global Cement and Concrete Association

Buzzi Unicem has recently joined the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA). Founded in early 2018, the association currently includes among its membership 16 leading companies in the cement and concrete production sector, representing over 30% of the global production capacity.

GCCA's mission is to interact with international institutions and major stakeholders to ensure that cement and concrete are recognized as essential elements in achieving the objectives of sustainable development, and to coordinate the efforts of the building industry to improve and innovate its production processes.

Needless to say, GCCA is working closely with the national and regional associations already in existence. The US-based Portland Cement Association (PCA) was the first such association to join the GCCA.

Lone Star Industries, Inc. Announces Sale of Over 2,600 Acres of Open Space to State of Illinois Department of Natural Resources to Expand State Park Complex
25 October 2018

Lone Star Industries, Inc. Announces Sale of Over 2,600 Acres of Open Space to State of Illinois Department of Natural Resources to Expand State Park Complex

UTICA, IL (Oct. 25, 2018): Lone Star Industries, Inc. d/b/a Buzzi Unicem USA today announced the sale of 2,629 acres to the State of Illinois in an effort to promote mined land reclamation and expand the state's most heavily visited state parks.

"The decision to sell this land to preserve open space represents Buzzi Unicem USA's effort to be a good corporate citizen and an environmentally responsible neighbor," said Daniel B. Nugent, Sr. Vice-President, Technical Services and Government Affairs of Buzzi Unicem USA. "Sustainable development is a core value of our business model. We strive to do business in a way that can meet the needs of present generations without jeopardizing the ability to satisfy the needs of future generations."

Following the cessation of mining activities on the property, Buzzi Unicem USA successfully completed the regulatory reclamation process necessary to restore the land to a natural and productive space. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will incorporate the former Buzzi Unicem USA property into the adjacent areas of Starved Rock and Matthieson State Parks, with intentions to restore wildlife habitats and provide valuable outdoor recreational activities to the public. Buzzi was pleased to partner with the State of Illinois to give back to the very community that helped the company operate a successful mining and cement manufacturing location for decades.

"We are excited to see what IDNR and the people of Illinois have in store for this land," said Mr. Nugent. "We hope the expansion of the state parks through this acquisition inspires other companies to look for opportunities to do the same." Headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Buzzi Unicem USA is one of the leading cement manufacturing companies in the US. The company’s seven cement plants have a production capacity of approximately 9 million metric tons. Buzzi Unicem USA serves the Midwest, Southwest, Northeast and Southeast sections of the country.

The company operates 34 cement terminals across the US to distribute the cement into 21 states. Buzzi Unicem USA, with over 1,300 valued employees, supplies cement and masonry cement to over 3,800 ready-mix concrete, highway and airport paving firms, concrete block companies and concrete product firms.

01 October 2018

Cape Girardeau Plant Continues Support to US National Manufacturing Day

The Buzzi Unicem USA, Cape Girardeau Cement Plant, participated in Manufacturing Day also in 2018. The event is targeted towards 8th and 9th graders, and offers a look into manufacturing opportunities and career pathways through interactive displays and presentations.

Manufacturing Day is an annual celebration of modern manufacturing during which manufacturers invite their communities, including students, educators, businesspeople, media, and politicians to their facilities in a collective effort to educate visitors about manufacturing careers and improve public perceptions of their industry. The event is designed to put an end to some common misperceptions about manufacturing, to address the skilled labor shortage, to connect with future generations, and to ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry. This annual event is supported by many organizations around the country. The event is organized through the collaborative efforts of Mineral Area College, the Cape Area Chamber of Commerce, the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center and other local economic and workforce development agencies. In 2016 there were more than half a million participants in Manufacturing Day events throughout the United States.

The Southeast Missouri Regional Industrial Training Group (SRITG) is a major sponsor of the local event each year. The plant is an active member of the SRITG with Plant Administrative Assistant, Sarah Jenkins, volunteering her time as Treasurer for the group.  For the second time in three years SRITG asked the plant to create an exhibit focused on educating local 8th and 9th grade students on potential career opportunities in the manufacturing trades and the related skill training available through the SRITG, the local Career and Tech Center and other community resources.  For Manufacturing Day, Steve Sebaugh, Plant Quality Manager, designed a display of the cement plant operations highlighting the various jobs and skills required to effectively operate a cement plant, taking raw materials to finished product.  

About 200 students visited the cement manufacturing display to learn about the industrial skills used in making cement. The Buzzi Unicem display was recognized as one of the featured presentations of the day. The students seemed to most enjoy the interactive portion of the demonstration where they were given an opportunity to handle the raw materials and the cement products at various phases of the manufacturing process.  Sarah Jenkins was able to speak with several high school students and students from the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center about career prospects at the Cape Girardeau Plant.   

Manufacturing Day was well attended and proved to be a great success.  The Cape Girardeau Plant was asked to continue their support and participation in coming events. Due to the positive response plans are now underway to include more students and to showcase a larger group of manufacturing companies in the future.  

16 June 2019

The Final Chapter of the Oglesby Plant - A Legacy of Returning to Nature

In October 2018 Buzzi Unicem USA completed a sale with the State of Illinois (IL) for property previously used for operating the Oglesby, IL Plant.  The State eagerly anticipated this transaction, since it facilitated an increase of more than 50% in public parkland, significantly expanding the State's busiest open park complex.

Situated in north-central IL about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south-west of Chicago, the Oglesby Plant was nestled between Matthieson Park to the east and Starved Rock Park to the north.  Oglesby began operation on a 40-acre (16.2-hectares) plot in December 1892 as the Williamson & Wilson Portland Cement Plant (using a "state-of-the-art" 10-ft by 40-ft [3.5-m by 12.2-m] vertical kiln).  In 1898, the newly formed Marquette Cement Company acquired the plant and conducted cement production operations into the 1980's.  Over that time Marquette modernized the production lines twice, once in the 1920's and again in the 1970's, and acquired surrounding properties along the way. In April 1982, the plant changed hands for one final time when Lone Star Industries (LSI), later incorporated in Buzzi Unicem USA, purchased the entirety of the Marquette Company.  LSI had a successful run into the mid-2000's, but, unfortunately had to cease production during the "Great Recession" in 2008.

By the time the Oglesby plant made its last ton of cement, the Company had acquired over 2,600 acres (over 1050 hectares) of property on both sides of a significant stretch along the Vermillion River.  Some of the land was recovered quarry area and some of the land was pristine river woodland, but all of it was ideally situated adjacent to IL public parkland that hosts over 2 millions of visitors a year. As Buzzi Unicem USA plans developed to divest the property, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) quickly expressed a keen interest in the acquisition.  Recognizing an opportunity that could provide nature preservation and public recreational activities to the community that supported over a century of successful mining and manufacturing, Buzzi Unicem USA entered into exclusive negotiations with the IDNR for the transaction.  While the State of Illinois’ significant financial restrictions extended the negotiations for several years, the deal was successfully concluded last October.

The IDNR is now moving forward with a meticulous process of examining and documenting the native flora and fauna currently present to ensure preservation of sensitive and rare species and habitat.  They are also developing a long-term plan that includes enhancement of forest and prairie habitat, establishment of nature trails and campgrounds, installation of a suspension foot bridge over the Vermillion River and provision of river access for kayaking, canoeing and fishing. These plans also include posting areas with informative and interpretive signs that will highlight its' history and Buzzi Unicem USA role in the environmental preservation. Having been part of the long-standing business that contributed to the community's local economy, we are pleased with the prospect that the Oglesby Plant is playing a role in establishing this lasting legacy.

04 September 2018

Three Buzzi Unicem Plants Receive ENERGY STAR Certification - Ten Consecutive Years

The Buzzi Unicem USA manufacturing facilities in Chattanooga, TN, Festus, MO, and Maryneal, TX have earned 2018 ENERGY STAR® certifications from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recognizing their superior energy performance among similar facilities in the industry. In fact, ENERGY STAR certified plants perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide.

This is the tenth consecutive year that these facilities have earned the ENERGY STAR recognition. In meeting these strict qualifications, these facilities are saving energy, conserving resources and helping protect the environment by using less energy than peer facilities.

For more than 20 years, EPA's ENERGY STAR program has been America's resource for saving energy and protecting the environment. Today, thousands of facility owners and managers use ENERGY STAR to improve the energy performance of their buildings and plants.

17 June 2018

Clinker Cooler Hold Down Roller Reliability Improvements at the Pryor Plant

During the past three years, the Pryor, OK plant has experienced recurring problems with the clinker cooler drag conveyor’s hold down roller on its Kiln 2 production line.  Having logged 36 kiln stoppages (265 hours of downtime) during that time, the plant made several attempts to address the causes of the failures.  In 2017, the plant abandoned attempts for modification and instead focused on completely redesigning the assembly.

The clinker conveying system consists of a single 300mm T-link drag that runs horizontally under the clinker cooler and then has a 15o incline from just past the clinker breaker to the discharge into the storage hall. The purpose of the hold down roller assembly is to maintain clinker conveying through transition to the incline.  Without the hold down roller, the drag chain would rise out of the material bed causing buildups that would lead to kiln stoppage.  The original design had a rigid mounted toothed sprocket roller at the transition to keep the chain against the bottom of the trough.  This design was problematic due to the inability to handle volume and size variations in the clinker.  When the clinker breaker hammers are new, the problem with clinker size variation is not as frequent.  However, as hammer wear progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the chain on track in the sprocket roller.  In addition, the rigid mounted roller did not tolerate clinker volume variation (from kiln pushes) and in a high volume events, acted as a dam in the conveying system. The buildup behind the roller, then caused excessive roller wear, further contributing to tracking issues and shut downs (e.g. the roller was replaced 17 times since 2015).  In an effort to improve reliability of the conveying system, the plant formed a reliability team consisting of key maintenance and production personnel.

One of the chief concerns for the team was to address both the tracking and damming issues in a single comprehensive design.  The team first opted to replace the toothed sprocket roller with a solid cast drum roller.  The prototype roller consisted of a 225mm cast roll with a cast in shaft.  Wear bars were installed on the cast roll to prevent wearing of the drum itself.  With a weight of 150kg, the team felt that this roll would deliver adequate downward pressure and resolve the problematic tracking constraint of the old design.  To resolve material damming issues, the team modified the design to allow the roller to lift slightly by utilizing a pivoting mounting assembly that would elevate over material buildup in the event of clinker surges.  The design and fabrication of the roller mounting assembly was completed inhouse in preparation for installation during the 2018 kiln shutdown.

The ideal weight of the hold down roller was estimated during the design phase and the plant had to add 30kg of additional weight during commissioning to improve the tension of the conveyor chain and achieve the optimal 25mm vertical sag recommended by the manufacturer.  Finally, the plant Automation Engineer added an amperage limit safeguard to minimize the clinker cooler material discharge in the event of a drag conveyor overload. Though it is still early in the 2018 campaign, no downtime has occurred due to hold down roller performance, and the Pryor plant is optimistic that the newly designed roller will continue to perform well and allow us to meet the kiln reliability target of 97 percent.

17 June 2018

Full-Depth Reclamation Roadway Construction Technique Promoting Market Growth

The demand for Portland cement in the U.S. plunged 44% as a result of the 2008 Great Recession. The impact on Buzzi Unicem USA at Stockertown, Pennsylvania was significant.  During this difficult economic period, natural gas extraction of the Marcellus Shale was beginning in rural northeastern Pennsylvania. The Marcellus Shale is one of the largest natural gas fields in the world.  It extends through West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. In Pennsylvania alone, over 7,000 wells have been drilled since 2005. 

A drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is being used to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale more than a mile below the surface.  Approximately 1,500 trucks are required to deliver equipment and materials to each drilling site.  The truck traffic associated with fracking has caused rapid deterioration of local and state highways.  Some roads became impassable, even to four-wheel drive vehicles. A lack of access for police, fire and medical emergency vehicles was jeopardizing public safety. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) enacted a 10-ton weight limit on local roads.  This concentrated the heavy truck traffic on state roads.  Pennsylvania law required the gas companies to pay bonds and repair roads damaged by fracking operations. 

John DeMartino, who was a partner at E.J. Breneman, L.P. knew that full-depth reclamation (FDR) with cement was be the best solution for maintaining the roads impacted by fracking.   

During early 2010, John approached one of the nation’s largest natural gas exploration firms, Chesapeake Energy, about using FDR. A successful test was conducted in August 2010 and in 3 years E.J. Breneman repaired two-third (about 400 miles) of roads in the Marcellus Shale area using the FDR technique. This success resulted in sales of 60,000 tons from the Buzzi Unicem USA Stockertown in 2011 alone. 

The Portland Cement Association estimates that FDR saves between 30 to 60 percent in costs over the typical reconstruction method of removal and replacement of an existing pavement. According to a technical report by the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center and the Institute for Transportation at Iowa State University, FDR saves 3,800 metric tonnes of material and 5,900 liters of diesel fuel for every kilometer of construction of an eight-meter wide roadway.   

In addition to roadways, John promotes the use of FDR for well pads. A well pad constructed using FDR requires roughly 500 metric tonnes of cement. If every well in Pennsylvania since 2005 used FDR, 3.5 million metric tonnes of cement would have been consumed. 

The amount of FDR work in the Marcellus Shale region varies annually depending on the amount of well-drilling activity. PennDOT districts, municipalities and commercial developers outside the Marcellus Shale area are starting to embrace FDR technology.  National and local promotional efforts are paying off. E.J. Breneman’s business, along with other FDR contractors, is expanding our market opportunities for additional cement sales at Stockertown.

Full-Depth Reclamation Technique

FDR is a cost-effective, sustainable method to construct a pavement base by recycling an existing asphalt pavement and its underlying layers.

FDR begins with a road reclaimer pulverizing an asphalt pavement and the underlying layers up to 40 centimeters deep. After the pulverized material is graded and shaped to the desired typical section, cement is spread on top as either a dry powder or slurry.  The cement application rate is determined by laboratory testing and specified in terms of weight per surface area (kg/m2). The roadway reclaimer mixes the pulverized material and cement during a second pass. Water is added to achieve the appropriate moisture content for compaction and hydration. The blended material is compacted with rollers and moist-cured with a bituminous sealer. Finally, a new road surface is paved over the FDR stabilized base.

17 June 2018

Thin Bonded Concrete Overlay Highway Repairs Expand to the Indiana Market

For more than 20 years, thin bonded concrete has been used as an alternative overlay product for large-scale asphalt repair projects in the United States. However, through those two decades, the state of Indiana has been reluctant to implement projects using this technique.   Historically, when asphalt pavement needed to be resurfaced, the top 10 cm of the existing pavement was removed.  Once this initial step was complete, approximately 6.35 cm of intermediate asphalt was placed on top of the milled surface, followed by 3.8 cm of surface asphalt.  This repair method would generally last 8-12 years.   

Several years ago, the Indiana Chapter of the American Concrete Paving Association (ACPA) approached the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) with the idea of using thin bonded concrete overlay (10 to 15 cm in depth) on projects well suited for this potentially longer lasting repair.  

To evaluate use of thin bonded concrete overlays, the Executive Director, Mike Byers and Director of Marketing and Public Affairs, Pat Long, of the ACPA – IN Chapter, toured several projects with INDOT Design Representatives.  While many of these projects were in neighboring Illinois, there were a few regional airport and highway projects in Indiana.   

To secure the desired supporting performance data, 3D laser-based pavement evaluation imaging devices were used to perform an Automated Road and Condition Survey on previously approved Portland Cement Concrete overlay projects. The 3-D Ultra Laser imaging methodology results in a more efficient and cost-effective data collection process for various aspects of pavement surface safety analysis. Utilizing data collected from these surveys, INDOT developed curves that indicated thin bonded concrete overlays had a projected service life of 25 to 30 years.  Based on this, INDOT identified 8 thin bonded concrete overlay projects that were subsequently bid during 2017, one of which was the US 52 Project.

The US 52 Project

The US 52 Project, located on the south side of Lafayette, IN, is a 4 lane asphalt, divided highway that runs north and south.  The project is located 80 km north of the Buzzi Unicem Greencastle Plant.  Rieth-Riley Construction was awarded the contract to resurface approximately 14.5 km of existing asphalt pavement with a 12.7 cm thin bonded concrete overlay.  In July 2018, Irving Materials Inc. (IMI) began supplying concrete for the project from one of their local ready mix concrete plants. IMI is one of Buzzi Unicem USA's (BUU's) largest customers in this region of the country. This project was the third thin bonded overlay collaboration with BUU and IMI within the last year.  

The concrete for this project was batched at a very low slump and delivered to the job site in dump trucks.  Each cubic yard of concrete contained approximately 200 kg of Greencastle Type I cement, since it has the characteristic of early strength gain making it well suited for this type of project. The cement was mixed with class F Fly Ash and 1.8 kg of Structural Fibers, the appropriate mix required to obtain 20% residual strength gain. Residual strength is the load the repaired area can carry without failing in the finished product.  Rieth-Riley positioned the concrete on top of the milled asphalt surface using a slip form paver.

INDOT specifications require 570 psi flexural strength in 7-days and through Aug. 9, 2018 the average 7-day flexural strength has been 640 psi, and the thin bonded concrete overlay has met all expectations and specifications. The Project was  completed Fall 2018 and used 6350 tonnes of our Type I cement.    

The use of thin bonded concrete in the state has resulted in an additional 20,000 tonnes of cement sales in the region. As this application gains acceptance, our hope is that it will open an avenue for cement sales that had previously not existed in the state of Indiana.


16 June 2018

A slip-pour construction for the third clinker silo at Maryneal

The Maryneal Plant has been approved to construct a third 22,000 MT clinker storage silo for 2018. The necessity of adding a third clinker silo is two-fold. First, the two identical existing silos have a combined live capacity of 44,000 MT; one being for class C clinker and one for being for Type I/II clinker. During periods of high shipment demand this storage volume would then equate to two weeks of cement shipment capacity. As a result, any plant outage lasting more than two weeks could exhaust the clinker inventory. Second, during periods of low cement demand, the additional silo can act as a buffer to keep the plant in operation.

The structural and mechanical portion of the project was designed by the engineering group in Casale. Clinker Silo No. 3 is being built in the area previously occupied by the recently decommissioned 3 kiln lines that operated prior to the most recent plant expansion. The presence of deep pockets at the old kiln piers made the excavation challenging. The excavation proceeded to solid rock and 2,000 psi lean concrete was then used as a base for the new silo, followed by a pour of 4,000 psi for the foundation and finally constructing the silo slip-rings and roof using a 5,000 psi concrete mix.

All concrete utilized was provided by Ingram Concrete using an onsite batch plant. The tight schedule required that concrete placement begin in t67891he unpredictable west Texas winter months. The early foundation pours did face freezing temperature challenges and some initial pouring delays occurred due to the colder than expected weather.

A comprehensive approach was taken with the concrete preparation for the slipform. A team consisting of Borton, LC as the prime contractor, Ingram Concrete & Aggregates, Buzzi Unicem USA Inc., and Alamo Concrete set out to design the mix. An important issue was the type of aggregate to be utilized.  In the slip pours for the first two silos, smooth river rock was used.  However, this was thought to be one of the factors causing plugs in the pumping lines as was experienced during the initial silo projects. A decision was made to then use crushed aggregate this time.

In order to estimate the time needed for the concrete to set up properly, the contractor conducted a series of trial forms that simulated the slip form.  Different additives were added to each test batch to determine the additive products which gave the best setting properties.  With a final mix design decided, a single pump truck was then used to transfer the concrete to a central hopper on the deck of the slip. From there, concrete was moved to the slip form using small "buggies".  While seeming rudimentary, this is the technique of choice by the contractor and turned out to be very successful. The system worked well and the crews were able to maintain the desired pace. Concrete trucks were scheduled such that there was always a gap of several minutes between the time one finished and the next truck arrived.

The slipform started the morning of Thursday, March 1 2018 and finished the morning of Thursday, March 8, traveling a height of 186 feet in 167 hours. The slipform process went smoothly with only a few obstacles. On March 4th the main crane handling rebar had a failure of a hydraulic valve that caused it to stop operating. Luckily, the plant maintenance crane was located and with the jib boom extended it was able to function as a replacement until the main crane could be repaired.

Once the slipform was completed the contractor installed the roof beams, decking, and poured the roof. Buzzi Unicem provided all the mechanical process equipment for this project so the contractor was only required to fabricate structural steel, chutes, and ductwork. A bridge was installed to connect the new Silo No. 3 with existing Silo No. 2, which was modified to accept a new drag chain conveyor to feed Silo No. 3. A drag chain takeaway conveyor was installed in the silo withdraw tunnel that discharges into a new bucket elevator which feeds the existing transfer belt conveyors to the finish mill system.  

The construction was completed in November 2018.

PCA awards Chattanooga Plant with it's second consecutive annual Chairman's Safety Performance Award
21 May 2018

PCA awards Chattanooga Plant with it's second consecutive annual Chairman's Safety Performance Award

The Portland Cement Association (PCA), founded in 1916, is the premier policy, research, education, and market intelligence organization serving America's cement manufacturers. The Association promotes safety, sustainability, and innovation in all aspects of construction, fosters continuous improvement in cement manufacturing and distribution, and generally promotes economic growth and sound infrastructure investment.

picture of Safety Award acceptanceThe annual PCA Chairman's Safety Performance Awards recognize outstanding safety performance in the manufacturing of Portland cement. A total of 9 winners were selected from nearly 100 cement facilities across the U.S. found to be the highest performers in safety in 2017. For the second year in a row, Buzzi Unicem USA's Chattanooga Plant was one of the plants honored with this award, having completed 226,233 man-hours of work in 2017 without any reportable accidents.

Buzzi Unicem USA and Lehigh University are proud to announce the Pier Nervi Opening in Bethlehem, PA
20 May 2018

Buzzi Unicem USA and Lehigh University are proud to announce the Pier Nervi Opening in Bethlehem, PA

Lehigh University, in collaboration with Buzzi Unicem USA and the National Museum of Industrial History, is glad to organize and offer an exhibit on the life and work of Pier Luigi Nervi, structural engineer and architect.

The exhibit will investigate the transformative contributions that Nervi has provided in the field of reinforced concrete, at the intersection between structural engineering and architecture. The event will be also an opportunity to reflect on the paramount role that the cement and concrete industry has had in the Lehigh Valley for more than a century, and on the Italian heritage in the region.

The exhibit is part of a portfolio of collaborations spanning scientific research, technology advancement, and cultural initiatives resulting from the strategic partnership between Lehigh University and Buzzi Unicem USA.

Dates: May 5-20, 2018

For more information, please visit: go.lehigh.edu./nervi

04 April 2018

Cape Girardeau Baghouse Replacement

Cape Girardeau plant’s successful completion of a new process baghouse replacement in April 2018 was a joint cooperative effort of plant and project personnel. The original process baghouse system, constructed 1981, had 32 reverse air filtration modules located on top of the raw feed blend silos, and operated with a two-fan system (Kiln ID and Raw Mill ID) at 45 to 50 inches of negative pressure.  Low operating temperatures also made the modules susceptible to acid attack and internal corrosion that was accelerated beginning in 1992 with the initiation of a robust alternate fuel program. Escalating corrosion quickly lead to major annual maintenance and replacement of ductwork, modules and components, resulting in significant maintenance costs.

In 2016, engineering commenced for the conceptual development of a pulse-jet bag filter installed at ground level with a cone valve gas control system and conversion to a three fan system. The design objectives were to improve operating control, optimize production, lower operating pressure, and reduce the risk of acid attack. The project was approved in 2016 and final engineering was started February 2017, with the goal of completing replacement on an aggressive one-year schedule. To make the project even more challenging, the scope was increased to include replacement of the old raw mill cyclones together with installation of Stage II Vortex Finder modifications.

Physical space constraints were a big challenge, due to the site configuration. The foot print for the bag filter, ID Fan, cone valve and stack limited crane accessibility and the ability to preassembly and erect the components. This made coordination between the primary contractors critical. Lee Mechanical Contractors, of Park Hills, Missouri, was hired to perform the mechanical, structural and electrical construction for everything except the baghouse itself. The supply and erection of the baghouse was awarded to Boldrocchi S.r.L of Biassono, Italy. The site seismic and soil conditions required to meet building codes impacted cost of foundations and structural design. Foundation construction started in May 2017, underground utilities were relocated and pilings were installed by July 2017, with foundation placements completed by October 2017. Timely delivery of major equipment (bag filter, cone valve, dust handling, and ID fan) from overseas was critical.

The general contract for steel, ductwork and equipment installation was awarded in August 2017.  By early September 2017 the contractor had mobilized, and steel and ductwork deliveries started.  A 330-ton LR 1300 crane with 400 feet of boom was needed to reach over the existing baghouse for demolition and construction. The bag filter erection, the cone valve assembly and ductwork erection were done concurrently.  Both the bag filter erector and general contractor worked closely together in the limited space.

Winter conditions, freezing temperatures and ice during January 2018 impeded progress.  Due to limited space for pre-assembly, the bag filter casing and plenum were assembled on the ground, and set with one crane. A larger Terex CC 2800 (660 tons) crane was then needed for the bag filter and ductwork installation.  Cone valves and dust handling equipment were assembled prior to the outage.

Since the existing baghouse and ID fans continued to operate through all but the very end of construction, only 50% of ductwork and support structures could be erected prior to the outage. The ductwork and supports were preassembled and transported to the site for installation.  Setting of the bag filter casing and penthouse controlled the crane usage.  The outage commenced February 16, 2018 after setting the bag filter.  The Terex CC 2800 was reconfigured for extended lifts, demolition of cyclones, structures and ductwork.  Contractors worked 12 hours a day 7 days a week for nearly two months to meet the schedule, successfully achieving start-up of the new system on April 4, 2018.