Colgate Penstock Emergency Valve Installation

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Colgate Penstock Emergency Valve Installation

Under contract, Syblon Reid completed the installation of a 168-inch butterfly valve in the Colgate Penstock.

The installation of the valve included: modification of the existing penstock, relocation of air release valves, and installation and commissioning of a flow-meter and hydraulic system. The project involved extensive modification to the existing 14-foot diameter penstock to accept the installation of the 168-inch butterfly valve. All welding and fabrication was completed under ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code VIII and Welding & Brazing Qualifications IX.

The critical deadline for the project was December 8th, by which time the penstock needed to be recommissioned to allow the power plant to be returned to normal operation. Failure to meet the deadline would have resulted in liquidated damages of $25,000 per day for the first 8 days and $3,000 per day thereafter. The two critical phases of work were the penstock modifications and installation of the 16-inch butterfly valve.

The major challenges and risks associated with the project included:

  • Operating within a 9-week schedule.
  • Maintaining critical alignment of the penstock during modifications.
  • Fabrication of the spool sections at an offsite facility located in Bakersfield.
  • Relocation of the butterfly valve from its temporary foundation to its permanent foundation in-line with the penstock.


During the outage, the upstream steel liner was inspected and found to be in a deteriorated state. Syblon Reid was issued a change order to install a new coating on the 1000-foot long steel liner section. The project also required the management and coordination of numerous equipment and material suppliers and subcontractors.

This work was completed within the planned outage period.

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