Baker & O'Brien, Inc.

Industries

Industry Details

Power Generation

Baker & O'Brien's consulting services in the power generation industry have been directed primarily toward the development, analysis, and valuation of cogeneration projects fueled by natural gas or petroleum residues, such as coke or petroleum tars. We have also worked with power plant clients on disputes involving: (1) the alleged improper use of proprietary technologies; (2) the root cause of equipment failure or construction cost overruns; and (3) substandard plant operations and performance. From time-to-time, our consultants have also assisted major utility companies in the evaluation of potential fuel substitution opportunities and the pricing of competing fuels in baseload power projects.

Related Experience

  • Cogeneration Plant Property Tax Dispute
    Assisted municipality in developing preliminary value estimates for cogeneration facility under appeal. Work focused primarily on income approach values based on various forward pricing scenarios.
    Ad Valorem Taxes
  • Damages from Steam Turbine Failure
    Assisted in determining economic damages resulting from failures associated with a new steam turbine that was provided and installed by a turbine manufacturer at a power generation facility. Conducted independent assessment of economic losses suffered by electric cooperative as a result of both short-term and long-term performance shortfalls and outages.
    Business Interruption, EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pricing
  • Electric Incident Investigation
    Conducted a Root Cause Failure Analysis on a power generation facility following the failures of a surge arrester and a backup battery system. Identified required inspection assistance, evaluated failed component inspection results and examined practices and procedures in place at the facility.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Fair Market Valuation
    On behalf of a major U.S. gas power plant developer, estimated the fair market value of a 1,000 MW natural gas-fired electric power project. Evaluated turn key fixed-price contract for engineering, procurement, and construction for the combined-cycle generation facility along with utilities, rights-of-way, and permits. Reviewed the procurement and delivery of four natural gas turbines and two steam turbine generators.
    Pricing
  • Gas Turbine Damage
    Assisted in determination of fault and damages in a dispute concerning a major turbine failure in the start-up of a Southeast U.S. power plant.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Independent Power Production
    Assisted in the development proposals for two independent power projects in southeastern Japan. One facility, which was successfully implemented, involved a $180 million investment for a petroleum coke-fired 130 megawatt condensing turbine generator. Assisted in the creation of a sophisticated linear program model, which was used to justify the project, based on cash flows and probable rates of return.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Natural Gas Pipeline and Processing Plant Due Diligence
    Assisted an electric utility in its merger with a gas transmission and distribution company. Inspected pipeline and processing facilities and reviewed natural gas and natural gas liquids supply and marketing issues. Conducted operations review and an analysis of staffing levels.
    Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
  • Review of Power Development Projects
    Evaluated the economic value of five interim power projects in various stages of development for an international power project developer.
  • Power Plant Construction Dispute
    Provided expert report and oral testimony on roles and responsibilities of: (1)  an EPC contractor under a Lump Sum-Turn Key contract; (2) owners in awarding and managing such projects; and (3) the capabilities of owner's and contractor's project management teams.  The project involved provision of EPC services to retrofit selective catalytic reduction equipment to existing power generation units, as mandated by the regulatory authorities.
    EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony
  • Power Project
    Supported lenders in mezzanine financing for construction of a cogeneration plant in Western Siberia.  Advised as to the collateral value of certain equipment ordered for the project and evaluated the technical capabilities of the company to manage the project under long-term project financing.
    EPC-related
  • Power Plant Construction Dispute
    Provided advice on a construction dispute between owner and contractor regarding a project to upgrade and modify a power plant in the Caribbean, which had alleged defects related to the boiler heat recovery section, the desalination plant, seawater cooling piping, and instrumentation.
    EPC-related
  • Root Cause Analysis
    Conducted a Root Cause Failure Analysis on a high pressure steam turbine that failed following a planned outage at a cogeneration power plant. Evaluated outage work procedures, actual outage work undertaken, start-up monitoring results, and post-failure turbine inspection results on turbine disassembly.
    Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Utility Feedstock Contract Evaluation
    On behalf of a regional utility in central Alaska, evaluated newly proposed long-term feedstock contracts linked to prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange.   The proposed price adjustments were based on quality variations from the fuel specifications.
    Pricing
  • Coal Gasification Plant Accident
    Provided assistance to a mechanical contractor for a root-cause investigation of a fatal accident at a coal gasification plant.
    Gasification, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • Cause and Origin Analysis
    Conducted a cause and origin investigation of a fire at a natural gas combined cycle generation plant.  Investigation included in-plant interviews and review of operational data, as well as metallurgical investigation to determine the probable cause and origin of the fire.
    Forensic Analysis , Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • Review of Power Development Projects
    Evaluated the economic value of five interim power projects in various stages of development for an international power project developer.
    Project Feasibility
  • Turbine Fire
    Performed review of root cause analysis of the failure of a 125 MW generating steam turbine.
    Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • Pump Failure Investigation: Maintenance Shop
    Reviewed rotating equipment maintenance shop's pump maintenance and rebuild procedures. Provided written report describing potential causation of power plant rotating equipment failures and recommendations to improve maintenance shop quality control.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Power Transmission Fire Investigation
    Investigated cause for major grass fire that resulted in the death of a local firefighter.
    Safety
  • Wind Turbine Generator Failure Analysis
    Analyzed and provided expert testimony on the frequent failure of doubly-fed electrical generators located at a wind power generation facility. Examined and critiqued: the previous investigations concerning the possible causes, whether possible causes were linked to design, manufacturing or operation; and whether adequate steps had been taken to obviate further failures. Opined on whether the equipment was fit for purpose.
    Operations/Maintenance
  • GTL Jet Fuel Scoping Study
    On behalf of a major airline, assessed the risks and benefits involved in entering into either a jet fuel off-take agreement, or participating in project ownership. The assessment, for a number of small-scale GTL technology providers, covered the following topics: state of technology development; technical risks for project completion; likely capital costs, yields, and operating costs; market price analysis for crude oil and natural gas; and economic sensitivity analyses.
    Project Feasibility
  • Residual Fuel Oil Valuation
    Provided an assessment of the quantity, quality, and value of fuel oil recovered during demolition of storage tanks at a power plant.
    Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Electrical Supply Disruption
    Following the sudden loss of electrical supply to a chemical plant, which resulted in equipment damage, the chemical plant owner claimed that the electricity supplier was negligent.  In addressing the root cause of the equipment damage, our work assessed the following parameters: (1) the nature of the supply contract; (2) the nature of the outage - whether intentional or inadvertent; (3) the chronology of events following the outage; (4) the designs of the electrical systems in question; and (5) the operational procedures in the event of a power outage and whether they were followed.
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage
  • IPP/Refinery Power Generation Outage Dispute
    Assessed the cause(s) of supplier's steam and electricity generation failure and mitigating actions by the refinery/petrochemical customer. Preliminary findings and a document request were provided to the client.
    Arbitration, Business Interruption, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage