A $4 million project to upgrade the power plant at the University of Missouri—Columbia (MU) has been completed. The project includes construction of a truck-unloading facility, five storage silos and a conveyor system, and the replacement of an existing coal boiler with an environmentally friendly biomass unit.

Phase I included wiring of three under-silo coal and biomass conveyors, which travel from the fuel-receiving area to the bucket elevators. Each conveyor stretches about 250 feet in length. The two over-bunker coal and biomass conveyors are about 200 feet long, and the bucket elevators are about 80 feet tall. Phase II included construction and wiring of the 110-foot-high silos, as well as completion of the new biomass boiler.

The new boiler, which was retrofitted with the university’s existing heating duct system, is expected to produce 150,000 pounds of steam per hour, increasing the power plant’s steam output by 30,000 pounds per hour. The biomass boiler also is expected to use each year about 100,000 tons of biomass, including chipped hardwoods and local wood waste, from various Missouri sources. The new unit also is expected to produce lower sulfur emission levels and smaller amounts of ash.

The power plant supplies energy and heating and cooling for buildings totaling more than 13 million square feet, including three hospitals, a research reactor and several research facilities.

The general contractor is McCarthy Construction (St. Louis). Sega Engineering and Technical Services (Overland Park, Kan.) is project engineer. Kaiser Electric (Fenton, Mo.) providing the electrical, lighting, control and instrumentation wiring.