West Point company wins $5.3 million contract
By John Cummins
WEST POINT - Babcock & Wilcox has won a $5.3 million contract to modify a 1950s-era power plant in Colorado, but company officials are still mum on the plant's future.
Babcock & Wilcox will supply and erect low-nitrate burners for the Public Service Company of Colorado's Cherokee Station in Denver. The new additions will decrease the amount of nitrogen oxide emissions from the coal-fired boiler, said company spokeswoman Sharon McCoulley.
The12 down-fired low NOx burners ordered in the contract will be built at the West Point plant, McCoulley said. She said the contract will not result in additional jobs at the plant, which employs 650 people.
McCoulley said the company is "still evaluating its (American) manufacturing capacity," a process that began in March. The company said it's examining boiler-making operations in West Point and Paris, Texas, to "determine the most economic combination of capabilities", leading to speculation that one of the plants could be downsized or closed in the future.
Babcock & Wilcox has pointed to declining demand for its products as the reason for the evaluation.
Besides the burners, the new contract includes supplying roof panels, rebuilding the entire furnace, and developing new opening configurations.
The work is being done on an 100-megawatt Babcock & Wilcox boiler initially started up in 1957.
Babcock & Wilcox will handle the majority of the engineering for the project, while Babcock & Wilcox Construction Co. will erect the project.
McCoulley said the project's engineering will begin first, with materials scheduled for delivery to the Denver power plant in September 1998.
Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group is an operating group of McDermott International, a worldwide energy services provider. The company and its subsidiaries manufacture steam generating equipment, environmental equipment, and governmental products.
McDermott is also involved in engineering and construction services, shipbuilding, and the offshore oil and natural gas industries.