Independence Excavating, Inc. (IX) was chosen by American Electric Power (AEP) to perform select decommissioning, civil and demolition services at the Big Sandy plant. Work was performed to support AEPs efforts to convert Unit 2 from a coal fired power plant to natural gas. Structures demolished included the former coal conveyors, coal crushing house, underground hoppers and tunnels, site transformers, warehouses, above ground storage tanks and removal a 10,000 gallon diesel UST and 2,500 gallon gasoline UST.
The demolition work scope most notably included the implosion of a 370 foot tall hyperbolic cooling tower. This is only the third hyperbolic cooling tower in the United States to be demolished. IX’s subcontractor, Dykon Explosive Demolition, performed the actual tower implosion and IX demolition crews processed the nearly 12,000 tons of concrete. A track mounted jaw crusher was subsequently mobilized to the site to crush the concrete to enable reuse of the material as backfill.