Engine delivery and installation
UMERC engines delivered by cargo ship. Ten engines, called reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE), were delivered to a private dock in L’Anse, Michigan, by cargo ship May 31. The engines began their journey on the Palabora cargo ship from Italy at the beginning of May. After arriving at the dock, a crane on board the Palabora lifted each engine separately off the ship. Each engine is 46 feet long and 20 feet tall and weighs 325 tons.
Hauling engines to generating station sites. After the initial arrival, seven of the engines were transported to F.D. Kuester Generating Station using three trucks and a 192-wheel, dual-trailer assembly with a structural cradle in between. The engines were carried in the cradle, one at a time, to the construction site. The seven engines delivered to F.D. Kuester Generating Station were stored on supports at the job site until being moved into the newly constructed engine hall building in September.
The remaining three engines were stored in L’Anse until September when they were delivered directly into the engine hall building at the A.J. Mihm Generating Station. Those deliveries used a single truck and a single 100-foot-long trailer with 160 wheels.
Road haul arrangements. Many accommodations were made for the engine deliveries, including road restrictions managed by the Michigan Department of Transportation. Escort vehicles accompanied each delivery. Utility companies also were contracted to raise overhead lines where necessary so trailers could pass underneath. The transits occurred at night to minimize traffic interference.
Setting the engines in place. Moving the engines to their final destination inside the engine halls required a combination of modern technology and old-fashioned ingenuity. Each engine trailer was carefully positioned beneath a short crane just outside the engine hall. The crane slightly lifted each engine so its trailer could be pulled from underneath it. The crane then lowered the engine onto a set of temporary steel rails under the engine’s frame. The engine was slid, inch by inch, along the rails, to its finish line. To minimize the friction between the engine frame and the rails, the technicians used grocery-store dish soap. After each engine was in place, the rails were removed and the engines mounted on their permanent spring-pack foundations. Each engine was then coupled to its matching generator.
Engine installation video
Over the next few months, the remaining connections will be made to the engines and generators, including coolant (antifreeze) pipes, exhaust system, lube oil supply, controls and instrumentation wiring, and power supply cabling.