Sundt Wins Build America Award for Project at APS Four Corners Power Plant

 |  Mining & Industrial, Power, Safety

At the 100th Annual AGC Convention in Denver earlier this month, Sundt received the Environmental Enhancement Project of The Year for our work on the Arizona Public Service (APS) Four Corners Power Plant near Farmington, New Mexico. The project included major upgrades that will reduce emissions by 80 percent, allowing the 1570-megawatt plant to meet environmental standards and continue operating.

Sundt performed over 2 million man-hours at Four Corners with a peak craft staff of over 400, making this our largest single project in company history.
Sundt performed over 2 million man-hours at Four Corners with a peak craft staff of over 400, making this our largest single project in company history.

Over the course of the project, Sundt completed:

  • 56,000 linear feet of piping
  • 8,000 tons of structural steel
  • 6,800 tons of duct
  • 130,000 linear feet of weld
  • 6,000 cubic yards of concrete
  • 10,000 linear feet of drilled caisson

Also, at 60 feet in diameter, the new selective catalytic reactors we installed are the tallest in North America and the second-largest air pre-heaters in the world. “This project had several highlights,” said Sundt Senior Project Manager Steve Roberts, “but I’m most proud of how we addressed safety. Performing work at elevation in harsh weather including high winds, much of which was on structural steel, it was a huge accomplishment to finish with a 0.7 TRIR.”

Sundt’s Industrial Group self-performed much of the work on site with its own skilled craft workforce. Specialized trades included precision millwrighting, boiler-making, structural ironworking, piping, concrete and electrical.
Sundt’s Industrial Group self-performed much of the work on site with its own skilled craft workforce. Specialized trades included precision millwrighting, boiler-making, structural ironworking, piping, concrete and electrical.

The project was also a win for the surrounding area, providing work for the local skilled workforce, helping maintain continued economic viability of the plant for years to come, and improving air quality in the region. With the plant located on Navajo Nation land, Sundt ensured that its project workforce was at least 80% Native American, and the upgrade work is expected to provide more than $6.3 billion in economic value to the region over the next 30 years. Sundt also supported local youth and community initiatives throughout the project.

To ensure adequate staffing of skilled craft professionals, Sundt partnered with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) to develop on-site craft training, as well as mentoring and an Apprenticeship and Development program to develop new workers’ skills.

APS Senior Project Manager Dewayne Keegel (third from left) joins Sundt employee-owners Ken Dean, Steve Roberts and Derek Neill in accepting the 2019 JLT Build America Award.
APS Senior Project Manager Dewayne Keegel (third from left) joins Sundt employee-owners Ken Dean, Steve Roberts and Derek Neill in accepting the 2019 JLT Build America Award.

“We matured a lot over the course of this project, both on an individual and corporate level,” said Steve. “We even had a few people who started at Four Corners in craft roles, and by the time it was done they were working in management positions. For Sundt as a whole, the project is a huge achievement. It shows what we can do—the size and difficulty of projects we can take on.”

With over 20 AGC Build America awards spanning the past five decades, Sundt has won more Build Americas than any other contractor in history. These include projects across building, highway and transportation, utility infrastructure, and federal and heavy civil sectors. Alongside our partners and fellow AGC members, we are proud to build structures that benefit Americans every single day.