Omega Morgan swaps transformers at Centralia power station

Omega Morgan swaps transformers at Centralia power station

An overhead view of a transformer being moved along skid beamsOmega Morgan

Having a transformer failure right before the holidays is a worst case scenario for Centralia, a small city in Lewis County, Washington. However, in early December, disaster struck and one of the three essential transformers failed at the Centralia power generation station, leaving the two remaining transformers to pick up the slack. 

With all the three transformers actually nearing the end of their life, the company decided to replace them with three new transformers on stand-by. For the job, the station crew hired Omega Morgan’s machinery moving team.

A limited time window for Omega Morgan

Given two days to plan the project, Omega Morgan’s machinery moving team started with a site visit to gain an understanding of the station layout and transformers’ potential path. The unusual challenge presented by this project involved swapping out six total units of extremely large size, 380,000 pounds (172.3 tons) each, within the limited time period.

After the site visit, the crew developed a plan to move the components one at a time via jack and slide gear and SPMTs. Once it arranged the equipment arrival, Omega Morgan went over its safety plan with the customer ahead of the start day. After two full days of preparation, the crew was ready for action.

The execution

On day one, Omega Morgan crew arrived with the equipment and began setting up. The team jacked the first active transformer and loaded it onto the SPMT before moving it 150 feet and jacking it down. Next, the crew jacked the second transformer and found skidding to be a more efficient method of placement than the SPMT.

Over seven days, Omega Morgan’s machinery moving team worked outside in the winter conditions, swapping each transformer, one move at a time. Overall, it took six operations with each of the six components.

Author: Adnan Bajic

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