Construction ‘winding down’ at PGE Carty natural gas plant

Construction is ‘winding down” at the Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR) (PGE) 440-MW Carty natural gas unit, an Oregon Department of Energy compliance officer told a June 17 meeting of the Oregon DOE’s Energy Facility Siting board.

Construction is now 90% complete on Unit 1 at the Carty facility, which is licensed for two generating units that will together eventually generate up to 900 MW, said Compliance Officer Duane Kilsdonk.

“Unit 2 should go a lot quicker,” when construction starts there, because the power company will already have much of the necessary infrastructure in place, Kilsdonk said. (There is not currently a date scheduled for construction to begin on Unit 2, said a company spokesperson).

Earlier this spring the number of construction workers at the Carty Unit 1 project peaked at roughly 700 people; it’s probably around 400 now and the headcount should drop to 200 in July, Kilsdonk said.

Startup and testing work should start this summer, Kilsdonk said.

The staff official noted that Portland General Electric replaced its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor in December 2015, Kilsdonk said. Sargent & Lundy is now playing a major role in completion of the project, Kilsdonk said.

Other key vendors involved in the project include Day & Zimmermann and Black & Veatch, the state staffer said.

The Carty plant is being built near the Boardman coal plant. PGE is scheduled to stop burning coal at Boardman by 2020. As a result, the company is starting to experiment with test burns of biomass at the plant, Kilsdonk said.

Audio of the Energy Facility Siting board meeting was available electronically.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at