March 14, 2012
It’s full steam ahead down at the Board of Water and Light’s new cogeneration plant construction site in REO Town. Earlier this month, the first of 4,130 pieces of fabricated steel began to go into place, creating the bones of the $182 million project.
“The steel ‘superstructure’ will be going up over the next three months,” says BWL’s Mark Nixon. “That's approximate, based on weather. However, since the steel itself is local [from Douglas Steel], we shouldn't have problems reaching our supplier!”
The 2,100 tons of steel isn’t the only work happening on the large development project. The "Big Pour,” which is a weekly series of concrete pours is still underway, pouring about 7,000 cubic yards of concrete at the site. Additionally, work on building a gas pipeline from a Consumers Energy gas pipeline to the REO Town site has begun, as well as the renovation of the historic
Grand Trunk Railroad Depot. Terra cotta tile roofing, is now being put into place.
“It looks spectacular,” says Nixon. “It is going to make that old depot shine like it hasn't shone in many decades.”
The cogeneration plant is scheduled to open in July 2013. In the interim, the project will create more than 1,000 construction jobs. Once in operation, approximately 180 BWL employees will work in the new plant and company headquarters located there.