Generator Cooling System Upgrade

Client: Rio Tinto
Kitimat, BC
Kemano Hydroelectric Plant
Piping Installation
Major Challenge: Seven pumps run while one was worked on
Kemano Hydroelectric Plant
Piping Installation
Supply and return headers arrangement improved for better operation access.
Kemano Hydroelectric Plant
Piping Installation
Major Challenge: Very complex piping configuration in a very tight space.
Kemano Hydroelectric Plant
Piping Installation
Bearing cooling water control stations brought together outside containment building for ease of operation access
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How to cost efficiently update and aged piping system, and improve operability and safety of design.

The Kemano hydroelectric plant produces power for use in the reduction process at the Rio Tino Alcan smelter in Kitimat, as well as provides power for use by communities in central British Columbia.  The cooling water piping sytems feeding the eight generators and transformers at the Kemano Power House, in service since the original construction, had reached the end of their life and required a complete piping system replacement.


The risk of financial losses from potential downtime in the event of generator and transformer cooling water line failure was avoided by a complete piping system replacement.


Replacement of the existing piping required efforts to ensure the piping isolation strategy utilizing worn valves would allow safe replacement of the piping during operation of all other generators.


All design aspects required by the Rio Tinto project approval gate process were followed to efficiently obtain project approvals and meet the installation deadline.

Cost benefit analyses were performed to determine the best solution for the piping and insulation replacement materials, considering material and installation cost, as well as maintenance costs, effectiveness, and lifespan.

Process and Instrumentation Diagrams were developed based on our comprehensive audit of the existing generator cooling water system.  Creation of a 3D model of the powerhouse piping allowed for efficient generation of 2D drawings for use in development of fabrication drawings and installation.  Temec  recognizes that 3D modelling is a valuable means of communicating design aspects to our clients as well as an efficient design tool.


  • Conceptual Design
  • Implementation Plan and Schedule
  • Cost Estimating
  • Mechanical & Piping Design
  • Procurement Assistance
  • Document Control
  • Installation Contracts
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