Two W.N.Y. Firms Awarded Contracts with New York Power Authority:  Critical Refurbishment Work Necessary To Maintain Power Generation At The Niagara Power Project

Christine Pritchard

July 20, 2010


BUFFALO - New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer today announced that two Western New York firms have been awarded contracts to perform critical refurbishment work at the Niagara Power Project.

The NYPA Board of Trustees has approved contract awards to Hohl Industrial services, Inc. of Tonawanda for $18.7 million contract for the refurbishment of 27 intake gates and six draft tube gates and to Scrufari Construction of Niagara Falls for $1.6 million for work on the intake deck and hatch covers, both at the Robert Moses Niagara Power Project.

“The projects are critical to the continued operation of the Niagara Power Project, our largest hydropower facility, and we are pleased to award them to companies in the region that will help support the local economy and keep Western New Yorkers employed,” said Michael J. Townsend, chairman of NYPA’s Board of Trustees.

“It is our fiduciary duty to protect and wisely use NYPA’s resources for the benefit of the public and our ratepayers and our responsibility to support our state and local economy.  That’s why it is particularly gratifying that NYPA is entering into agreements to ensure the integrity and reliability of our Niagara power generation with these two Western New York companies, both of which we maintain a long-standing working relationship and which employ local workers and who are both the lowest-cost bidders,” Kessel said.

“Supporting the Western New York economy will continue to be a priority at the Power Authority,” said D. Patrick Curley, NYPA trustee and resident of Orchard Park, N.Y. “This is a win-win scenario as these companies have demonstrated the knowledge and ability to undertake such important work at the Niagara Power Project and will do so for the lowest cost.”

Hohl Industrial Services, which submitted the lowest-cost bid of seven proposals stemming from a 2009 Request for Proposals (RFP), will undertake a project expected to be completed in 2023. This project includes the refurbishment of intake gates at the head of the dam that have been in service with the Niagara Power Project since its commissioning decades ago.  After approximately 50 years of operation, the intake gates are exhibiting signs of significant corrosion and deterioration. In addition, the deterioration of the rubber seals on theses gates has made it increasingly difficult to obtain an adequate seal, which is critical to safety when taking the units out of service for maintenance.

The project will also include the refurbishment of six draft tube gates, which act to isolate the discharge from the 13 turbines at the tail end of the dam.

Specifically, Hohl will be replacing the rubber seals, reconditioning the grease delivery system to the wheels, refurbishing the gate structural and skin plate components and recoating each of the 27 gates to ensure proper functionality and to extend their useful life.  The intake gate refurbishment program will be performed sequentially, with one gate being refurbished in 2010 and two gates completed each year following.

Other work at the Niagara Power Project will be done by Scrufari Construction Company, which submitted the lowest-cost proposal following a RFP earlier this year. The work will include the replacement of concrete hatch seal strips, cleaning and repainting of hatch steel frames, repair of delaminated concrete and cleaning and repair of the drainage system.  This is the second phase in a five-year program implemented to assure the integrity of critical equipment, which, if it should fail, would greatly impact power generation.

NYPA’s Niagara Power project, which produces some of the lowest-cost hydropower in the nation, has been in operation for nearly 50 years. Today, Niagara is the biggest electricity producer in New York State, generating 2.4 million kilowatts.  The power generated at the facility, which is supplied at rates nearly 75 percent below wholesale power costs, supports more than 130 companies and 46,000 jobs in Western New York.  It employs about 325 workers, with an annual payroll of more than $21.7 million.

About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives. ■ It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.


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