After years of wrangling and court cases and fines, the construction to correct the emissions problem at the General Electric-owned Homer City power plant is finally ready to commence. Kiewit Power Constructors is the engineering/procurement/construction entity overseeing the $700 million addition of two scrubbers to Homer City’s units 1 and 2. Construction is expected to last into 2014 and will require about 600 workers at the peak of the project.
About 30 miles to the south along the Conemaugh River near New Florence, a similar project is in the works at the Keystone Generating Station. GenOn Energy has narrowed the search for an EPC contractor to oversee the installation of scrubbers at the plant to Babcock & Wilcox and Interfab. The project is larger than the Homer City plant, approaching $1.2 billion. Construction won’t start until late 2012 or 2013 and should take several years to complete.
Although neither project is within the technical boundaries of the Pittsburgh MSA the labor required for the work will draw from the regional pool of skilled workers. At a time when industrial work is accelerating from the growth of the natural gas industry, another draw on the construction labor force will stretch capacity.