Charles R. Lowman Power Plant
Located on the Tombigbee River near Leroy, Alabama, the Charles R Lowman Power Plant is Alabama Electric Cooperative’s primary generating energy source. Its three coal-fired generating units produce 556 mega watts of electricity for the surrounding region. To reduce emissions from the plant to meet EPA requirements, AEC looked to hot-dip galvanizing for its air quality control upgrade project. 2500 tons of steel were hot-dip galvanized, including structural beams, platforms, stairs, handrails and ladders. Despite the challenges of handling heavy structural pieces, the engineer and the fabricator were able to rectify the problem by using a progressive dipping method. The fabricator commented on the excellent quality of HDG, as well as the quick turnaround time. While the initial cost was determined to be competitive with paint, the AEC cited its unsuccessful maintenance costs with the painted Unit done in 1969 to be an issue. This alone made HDG a logical choice to avoid high maintenance costs, and the galvanized coating will protect the plant from years of corrosion protection in an industrial atmosphere that deals with coal dust and high humidity.