Fort Martin Completes Bulk Material Maintenance, Improvement

The Fort Martin Bulk Material outage focused on the barge unloader located on the Monongahela River.

June 7, 2019

Most fuel arrives at the Fort Martin Power Station by barge, with a single barge delivering a thousand tons of coal. At a plant that uses more than 2.8 million tons of coal each year, that’s a lot of wear and tear on the barge unloading equipment.

Workers recently completed a 14-day Bulk Material Outage at Fort Martin focused on the barge unloader. The overall work scope was extensive, with replacement of the central pivot shaft and major elements of the unloader’s drive mechanism, including the intermediate gear and the high-speed gear and gearbox. Replacement of the pivot shaft required considerable planning and coordination, with tooling onsite to ensure proper fit-up and operation. Workers also installed nine new unloader buckets, and rebuilt and reinstalled six additional buckets.

Other work in the bulk materials area involved replacement of a plate in the plant’s Bradford Breaker, a machine that breaks, sizes and cleans raw coal. Additional work included replacement of the #5 coal conveyance belt, repairs to the #6 belt structure, repairs to three belt chutes and idler replacement on multiple belts.

“We had excellent collaboration between our Fort Martin Maintenance team, a team from Mobile Maintenance, and contract labor,” said Jon Argabrite, Fort Martin Maintenance manager. “This was a big job – the extent of the unloader work was beyond our typical yearly repair. The advance planning and good team coordination led to successful completion of the project with no safety or environmental incidents.”