Astoria II - Full-cycle value creation in action

September 4, 2014 North America , United States , New York
Clean and efficient power from development to divestment

In 2008, SNC-Lavalin was awarded an engineering, procurement, construction management, start-up and commissioning services contract for Astoria II, an efficient 575-MW natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant in Queens, New York. SNC-Lavalin simultaneously took a 20 percent ownership stake in the power plant as part of its infrastructure investment strategy, which blends the company’s engineering and construction capabilities with its asset management know-how. SNC-Lavalin demonstrated the value-generating power of that strategy in late 2013 when it reached an agreement to divest is minority ownership stake in the plant. 

A modular solution 

The biggest single challenge of the project was carrying out a large and complex construction project in one of the most densely populated areas in the US—and all without disrupting power production at the existing facilities. 

Thanks to creative thinking and careful planning, SNC-Lavalin managed to turn that space constraint into an advantage. An efficient off-site modular construction approach was developed that saved precious space, while maintaining the highest possible level of quality across all facets of the project. Construction sites in Tampico, Mexico, and Corpus Christi, Texas, assembled essential components like the heat recovery steam generators and pipe racks, which were then brought to the site by barge at key moments in the project’s 35-month schedule. Even the plant’s main electrical room and the unit power distribution centres were preassembled and tested at a facility in Houston, Texas.

Improving air quality 

When the plant was commissioned in 2011, Astoria II was the first major generating facility to go into service in New York City in more than five years. It is also the one of the cleanest in the city’s history according to the New York Power Authority, the largest state public power organization in the United States. Astoria II is improving air quality by reducing projected nitrogen dioxide emissions from in-city power plants by 1,222 tonnes per year, or a 17.9 percent reduction, and reducing projected sulphur dioxide emissions from in-city power plants by 1,542 tonnes per year, or a 17.5 percent reduction.

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