Ameren – Labadie Unit 2

Murphy Company was contracted to complete this 17,133 MHR job and did so nine days ahead of schedule and within budget. Our Scope B required major muscle, lifting and drifting four 27,000-lb. motors, four 18,000-lb. valves, and four 8,500-lb casings around/up to a monorail so they could be moved to the area where Ameren’s electricians could replace the coils and clean parts. The project required 24 heavy picks in all, within tight quarters, and work going on above and below (Each piece took 10 hours). We also discovered unexpected damage below the recirculation pumps, requiring our welding expertise, extensive machining, four heavy wall welds, and other repairs to the recirculation header.

Working conditions were particularly challenging, with work going on above and below us in very tight quarters. Although the boiler had platforms, stairs, walkways, and an elevator, we still had to build access in several places. Removal of the heavy motors and casings was a challenge because of their size and weight, creating additional safety hazards with another contractor with craftsmen, tools, and parts moving in and out all around us on every shift. It took approximately 10 hours for each of the “heavy picks.” Also, when we removed the valves below the recirculation pumps, we discovered significant damage, which was a great surprise to everyone, including Ameren’s engineers.

Despite difficult working conditions with craft and equipment moving all around us, we had 0 incidents. We utilized our Behavioral Based Safety program where each of our skilled workers watch out for themselves and their coworkers. We held daily safety meetings and had full-time safety, Nick Zahner, on-site along with Nick Pavia, pipefitter foreman, and Dan Feldhaus, boilermaker foreman. Ameren also had safety professionals on site, monitoring hazards and keeping watch as work progressed.

Murphy Project Manager Jamie Higgins had daily communication with Ameren construction coordinators. We used Primavera to coordinate schedules with the plant and across all our trades. We also used Procore to coordinate updated DWGs, schedule (for those without Procore), meeting notes, and safety.  Repairs and service on the motors and valves by Ameren also was taking place nearby, so we were in frequent communications regarding progress.

This project achieved 14.79% diversity by cost, using documented good faith to contract with other diverse firms (see list in Supplemental Forms). Due to change orders totaling $1,450,729, which skewed us away from our planned goal of 16%, we were forced to miss our planned goal by just 1.21%. Murphy also maintains a diverse workforce of trades on all our job sites and in our Shops, not counted towards this total.

Due to the complexity of this work, and the essential nature of Ameren’s boiler system, there was no room for error by any of us working on this project. We had 16 field fit welds (large diameter) requiring great skill and attention – all done to the owner’s satisfaction. Murphy also completed hundreds of boilermaker welds – all completed with zero rejection rate. Murphy also further ensured top quality by maintaining full-time quality assurance personnel on site.

Murphy reached deep into its talent pool in metallurgy, welding and quality control to perform this work. Repair of the damage to the recirculation header required us to gather our most experienced skilled workers and engineers to determine the best way to make the repairs. Ameren’s engineers looked to the Murphy Company team to determine a solution that could be accomplished within the designated time frame and that would stand the test of time for the boiler system’s rigorous requirements.

The original schedule began on July 2, 2019 and was scheduled to end Nov. 30, 2019. We laid out everything ahead of time on Primavera 6, with each scope having its own schedule. We worked two daily shifts and Saturday overtime, updating the schedule daily during construction. We were able to handle the unexpected repair due to two weeks “float” we had built into the boiler recirculation schedule. Thankfully, this cushion allowed us to still shave nine full days off the schedule.

More than 25% (2,372 MW) of Ameren’s total generating capacity of 10,100 MW is generated by the Labadie Energy Center, built in 1970, providing electricity to St. Louis, St. Louis County, and surrounding counties. Boiler maintenance/replacement is performed every two years, with each of the four boilers on an 8-year cycle.  Ameren Missouri provides electric service to approximately 1.2 million customers (over 500 communities) in 64 counties across central and eastern Missouri.



Owner Ameren Missouri
Building Type Industrial (Power Plant)
Project Size $3,200,000
Contract Type Lump Sum
Completion Date 2020

Murphy Team

Project Sponsor: Lloyd Jarden
Project Manager: Jamie Higgins
Pipefitter Foreman: Nick Pavia
Boilermaker Foreman: Dan Feldhaus

Project Team

General Contractor: Owner-Direct
Design Team: Ameren

Scope of Work

Major 5-scope replacement / maintenance work on the 180-ft boiler (1 of 4): A) Replace lube oil coolers on ground floor of the Powerhouse. B) Replace casings of boiler circ pumps. C) Replace casing of boiler feed pump. D) Inspect and repair pin rack and shell of air preheater. E) Replace air preheater gear boxes. Murphy was responsible for all work on the outside of the boiler while Hayes Mechanical worked simultaneously on the inside, which was taken out of service for the duration of the work.