A Plant Grows Near the 'Burgh

Practice Makes Perfect for $937M Texas Job

Tue September 03, 2019 - West Edition #18
Lori Tobias – CEG CorrespondEnt


The Montgomery County Power Station (MCPS), under construction at the existing Lewis Creek Power Plant near Willis, Texas, is the first new Entergy power plant in Texas in 40 years. It is expected to be online by mid-2021.
The Montgomery County Power Station (MCPS), under construction at the existing Lewis Creek Power Plant near Willis, Texas, is the first new Entergy power plant in Texas in 40 years. It is expected to be online by mid-2021.
The Montgomery County Power Station (MCPS), under construction at the existing Lewis Creek Power Plant near Willis, Texas, is the first new Entergy power plant in Texas in 40 years. It is expected to be online by mid-2021.
Construction on a $937 million power plant in Southeast Texas is progressing smoothly — due in part to lessons learned from the recent construction of two other Entergy gas turbine power plants. Contractors recently finished using a trio of massive cranes to lift 20 heat recovery steam generator modules into place on skyscraper-like structures. The HRSGs, which will generate steam for the power station, were built overseas and shipped into the Port of Houston.
The cranes lifted one module into place per day — weather permitting — beginning in June. The MCPS will be a 993-megawatt combined cycle gas plant capable of producing enough energy to meet the average power needs of approximately 640,000 typical Texas homes.

Construction on a $937 million power plant in Southeast Texas is progressing smoothly — due in part to lessons learned from the recent construction of two other Entergy gas turbine power plants.

The Montgomery County Power Station (MCPS), under construction at the existing Lewis Creek Power Plant near Willis, Texas, is the first new Entergy power plant in Texas in 40 years. It is expected to be online by mid-2021. McDermott International Inc. is the project's engineer and construction contractor.

"All three plants are state-of-the-art combined cycle gas turbine facilities that will produce affordable, reliable and clean energy for Entergy customers," said Russ Cochran, project director. "They've learned from the previous two projects … that there's a better way to do it, and we're doing that here. As a portfolio, we're seeing a lot of benefits from doing three in a row," Cochran said.

Contractors recently finished using a trio of massive cranes to lift 20 heat recovery steam generator modules into place on skyscraper-like structures. Cranes on the job include:

  • Two Liebherr cranes: a 750-ton crane and a 330-ton crane, used for heavy lifts.
  • Two Kobelco 275-ton cranes.
  • Six various manufacturer 75-ton to 150-ton cranes

The HRSGs which will generate steam for the power station, were built overseas and shipped into the Port of Houston. The cranes lifted one module into place per day — weather permitting — beginning in June.

"The lifting of these modules into place are among the first of the heavy lifts of equipment at the site," said Russ Cochran, Entergy's project director for the MCPS construction. "They are a bit more complicated than a normal lift, in that it takes three cranes in coordination to lift these modules into place."

The modules are not the only heavy items on site. The large crane will be kept around through the end of the year to assist in the construction of the condenser and to lift the steam turbine and generator pieces. All the other cranes are needed to move the structural steel, piping, and building materials.

The MCPS will be a 993- megawatt combined cycle gas plant capable of producing enough energy to meet the average power needs of approximately 640,000 typical Texas homes. Its construction will provide more than 2,800 direct jobs in Texas and nearly $1 billion in economic activity for the regional economy, Cochran said.

Some of the project materials include:

  • 2,000 tons of structural steel
  • 27,000 cu. yds. of concrete
  • 24,000 ft. of underground pipe
  • 105,000 ft. of above-ground pipe
  • 1.2 million ft. of wire and cable

Montgomery County is one of the fastest growing regions in the nation.

"Over the past several decades, billions of dollars in new investment and continuous job growth have powered the area, and we're projected to grow by even more in the next several years."

But while the region is growing, the infrastructure is aging and without action, the region faced a shortfall of 700 megawatts in just a few years. For perspective, one megawatt can power 200 homes. By 2022, that figure jumps to 1.2 gigawatts.

"The construction of the MCPS will modernize Entergy Texas' generation fleet using new technology that provides a cleaner and more efficient source of power," said Sallie Ranier, president and CEO of Entergy, Texas. "This efficient technology will benefit customers by providing a savings of approximately $1.7 billion over the next 30 years.

"In addition to meeting customer needs, MCPS also will have a substantial impact on the Texas economy. An independent economic analysis by TXP Inc. estimates that construction alone is expected to generate an estimated $1 billion in economic activity across the state. Additionally, construction is expected to create a multiplier effect of more than 7,000 jobs (direct, indirect, induced).

Entergy Texas Inc. provides electricity to approximately 458,000 customers in 27 counties. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of $11 billion and nearly 13,700 employees. CEG