Wood Harbinger Wins Silver at 2019 ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards

Wood Harbinger is honored to have received a Best in State Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) for our work on the Isla Grande Terminal Upgrades. Our electrical engineering services for the Isla Grande Terminal earned a Silver Award for “Unique or Innovative Applications.” The 52nd Annual ACEC Washington Engineering Excellence Awards ceremony was held on Friday evening, January 18th, 2019.

We are excited to share our accomplishments with our project teams and our clients. We worked with Crowley Puerto Rico Services and Harbor Consulting Engineers. Congratulations TEAM!

Best in State Silver Award – Unique or Innovative Applications: Isla Grande Terminal Upgrades, Crowley Puerto Rico Services; San Juan, Puerto Rico

The project added three new 60-ton capacity ship-to-shore gantry cranes on the new pier.

The Port of San Juan is one of the busiest container ports in the Caribbean and Latin America. Crowley Puerto Rico Services, Inc. (Crowley) has been serving Puerto Rico since 1954 and is the top ocean carrier operating between the island commonwealth and the U.S. mainland. Crowley invested in major upgrades to its Isla Grande Terminal to transition its operations from “roll on/roll off” barges to a new fleet of combination “lift on/lift off” and “roll on/roll off” container vessels.

The terminal upgrades included a new 900-foot by 114-foot container pier to accommodate the incoming liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered, Commitment Class shipping vessels, three new 60-ton capacity ship-to-shore gantry cranes, 164 refrigerated trailer parking spaces, and a total reconfiguration of the upland terminal operations and infrastructure to support container stacking and computerized distribution truck entry and exiting. This is the largest terminal improvements project since the original terminal construction in 1977.

Isla Grande Terminal San Juan, Puerto Rico

The new 900-foot by 114-foot pier was constructed while the container terminal remained fully operational, requiring complex phasing and coordination among the project team.

Wood Harbinger worked closely with lead design firm Harbor Engineers and Crowley personnel to provide electrical engineering for the project. The existing electrical demand for the site buildings, maintenance, refrigerated trailers and lighting was approximately 1.4MVA. The new pier upland terminal upgrades added significant new electrical loads and increased the demand to about 9.5 MVA, much greater than the existing service could support. We worked with local electrical utility Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to bring higher capacity service to the site to accommodate the increased demand, and we designed a total replacement of the main service substation, site electrical power distribution, and emergency/standby power systems. Wood Harbinger also provided the site communications infrastructure, lighting, and site security systems to support the pier and terminal upgrades.

Isla Grade Terminal San Juan Puerto Rico

An enclosed, walk-in switchhouse houses the switchgear and other equipment to help protect them from the harsh conditions of a tropical marine environment.

Construction was accomplished while the container terminal remained fully operational, requiring complex phasing and coordination among the terminal operators, construction contractors, project managers, and designers.

Hurricane Maria made direct landfall on September 20, 2017 in Puerto Rico and decimated much of the island’s buildings and infrastructure. In the immediate days after the storm, the entire island was without electrical power. The Isla Grande Terminal suffered blown-off roofs and some damage to the cranes, but no damage to the new pier or the new substation yard and equipment. The new substation switch-house stayed completely dry. Wood Harbinger personnel was on site in Puerto Rico one week after Maria’s landfall to help get the Isla Grande Terminal up and running on standby power, including the gantry cranes. On September 30, just 10 days after the eye of the storm passed over San Juan, a FEMA shipment with fuel and supplies arrived at Isla Grande and was unloaded on the new pier, with the new cranes, and processed through the new operations yard: a testament to resiliency by design.

Best of the Best

29 projects were honored at this year’s ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards ceremony. We congratulate our peers for their innovative and inspiring engineering work!

Read more about the 2019 Engineering Excellence Awards in the Seattle DJC’s January special section here.

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