Baker & O'Brien, Inc.


Industry Details

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 Case Studies

Related Case Studies
How Much is “Old” Fuel Oil Worth?
When a fuel oil-fired power plant was sold for demolition and site reclamation, the parties could not agree on the value of the residual fuel oil inventory.  Baker & O'Brien determined the “heel” in the residual product, disposition practices and options, and the ultimate product net value.  We analyzed the quality of the product and assessed its value. Read more


Related Experience

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.
Gas Turbine Damage
Assisted in a root-cause analysis and damages dispute concerning a major turbine failure in the start-up of a 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.
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.
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.
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 Root Cause Analysis
Root cause analysis of a boiler feed water pump failure including analysis of rotating equipment maintenance shop's pump maintenance and rebuild procedures.  Provided recommendations to improve maintenance shop quality control.
Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
Power Transmission Fire Investigation
Investigated the cause of major fire that resulted in a fatality.  
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.
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
Power Outage Root Cause Analysis
Root cause analysis of a Port of Houston container facility power outage and an assessment of potential exposure to business interruption claims.
Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Property Damage
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
Cogeneration Project Feasibility Analysis
Assessed the feasibility of developing a steam-power cogeneration complex using feedstock from a new refinery.  Study considered local market supply/demand issues for petroleum products and anticipated power requirements for the region.
Project Feasibility
Power Plant Insurance Claim
Provided expert consulting services regarding operations and maintenance of a barge-mounted, diesel-powered turbine electric power generation facility..
Business Interruption, Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage
Power Market Analysis
Provided advice and expert opinion on the commercial and technical assumptions used in the calculation of steam and power rates that an oil and gas producer charged its clients.
Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pricing
Power Plant Due Diligence
Prepared a due diligence report describing the physical condition and maintenace practices of the gas fired steam and electric power co-generation facility, staffing and organizational issues, and other operational issues.
Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal