One Power Plant, Two Job Sites

by J. B. Lancaster, Jr., President; Forte and Tablada, Inc., Baton Rouge, LA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 1, Pg. 45-47

Document Type: Feature article


In response to the lingering questions about energy, officials from Vidalia, La initiated a plan in 1977 to build a hydroelectric plant at a site 90 mi northwest of Baton Rouge, where the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers flow 3 mi apart. The site they chose, though, was remote and labor was scarce. Navigable waters and major shipyards were close by, however, so engineers adopted the prefabricated powerplant structure (PPS) scheme. The scheme allowed workers to construct the foundation and associated civil works at the project site, while other workers constructed the powerplant simultaneously at a New Orleans shipyard. The plant was then shipped to the site—via the Mississippi River—after the foundation was completed. The reasons for this plan were economic: all things being equal, the costs between conventional and pps structures were about the same, but the pps scheme takes less time reducing financing and interest costs for construction. The $500 million Sidney A. Murray Jr. Station will open in September 1990.

Subject Headings: Hydro power | Power plants | Labor | Shipyards | Foundations | Construction costs | Streamflow | River flow | Louisiana | United States | Mississippi | Baton Rouge | New Orleans

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