American Babbitt delivers two bearings for Bonneville hydropower project rehab

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West Virginia-based manufacturer American Babbitt Bearing has completed and delivered two turbine guide bearings for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' First Powerhouse at Bonneville Dam.

The contract also included an option item for American Babbitt to provide an additional bearing, which the company said it began manufacturing this month.

"This is the biggest single contract that we have had to date," American Babbitt sales manager Nick Smith said. "The turbine guide bearings have a 42.5-inch bore diameter, with an outside diameter of 77.5 inches and height of 43 inches." previously reported that the Corps' Portland District had awarded the contract to American Babbitt in April, which, including the option for the third bearing, is now worth about US$700,000. The award announcement also stipulated the company will provide all necessary parts including stud bolts, nuts and plugs.

"You do not see a new manufacture project for bearings of this size too often, and we are very pleased to have been awarded this project," Smith said. "The first two bearings went very well through the manufacturing process and have been delivered to site. We look forward to the third bearing following that same path."

The work is part of USACE's ongoing modernization of the 1,077.6 MW hydropower plant, which is located on the Columbia River on the border of Washington and Oregon.

American Babbitt was also awarded Corps contracts for turbine unit rehabilitation at the 810-MW Lower Granite and 402-MW Dworshak hydroelectric projects in January 2013.

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