Client
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
Location
Puerto Rico

USACE Puerto Rico Power Restoration

In 2017, Fluor was awarded a contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Huntsville (Alabama) Engineering Center to assist in repairing and restoring the electrical power grid in Puerto Rico largely destroyed by impacts from Hurricane Maria.

USACE led the planning, coordination and integration efforts to execute the electrical power grid repair and partnered with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to establish a unity of effort in the repair.

By the end of the project, Fluor had restored power to more than 250,000 customers across Puerto Rico.

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Client's Challenge

Hurricane Irma struck Puerto Rico's northern coastline on September 6 and 7, 2017 as a Category 5 storm, knocking out power to more than one million residents and crippling critical infrastructure.

Two weeks later, Hurricane Maria made its way up the Caribbean as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing winds of 150+ mph and dumping 25 inches of rain, resulting in catastrophic damage of historical proportions.

Puerto Rico's power grid, an already fragile and aged system, was left with approximately 80% of the grid and 65% of the transmission and distribution system damaged or destroyed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers called on Fluor because of its expertise in mobilizing rapid response teams to work in disaster-stricken locations for a wide variety of natural and man-made disasters. Fluor came to the project with nearly 55 years of commitment to supporting various clients and industries in Puerto Rico.


Fluor's Solution

Within 48 hours of contract award, Fluor project-specific personnel were on the ground in San Juan, assessing damage and beginning to work closely with more than a dozen local subcontractor firms. Fluor's San Juan office provided personnel resources for support of crucial project activities and provided island-specific expertise as well.

Because of the scope and depth of this critical emergency response project, Fluor recruited personnel from across its business lines to support the project. In total, it had more than 3,300 personnel and subcontractors deployed to support the project in a rapidly changing and post-disaster environment that included limited means of communication and access to power.

In addition to successfully providing critical life support services to its employee and subcontractor personnel, including housing, clean water, food and gas, Fluor established and maintained material laydown yards and warehousing for the management of 2,100 pieces of equipment and 974,190 pieces of government-furnished material.

Key project achievements included:

  • Repaired Puerto Rico’s critical electrical infrastructure, providing power to approximately 250,000 PREPA customers in 115 days.
  • Installed 360 miles of conductor on five transmission, 29 sub-transmission and 106 distribution lines.
  • Installed 3,247 new poles and repaired numerous others.
  • Installed 16,945 conductors.
  • Employed 525 local residents and awarded $185 million to more than 100 Puerto Rican subcontractors and vendors, supporting thousands of local jobs.


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Conclusion

Given the company's long history in Puerto Rico, this mission was particularly important to Fluor. USACE's show of confidence in Fluor's ability to perform the work resulted in a second task order being awarded, and ultimately 2.83 million project hours were worked to restore power to Puerto Rico.

By the time Fluor's support of the power restoration mission was completed in March 2018, power had been restored to 95% of Puerto Rican residents.