Seminole Electric Maintenance Contract


Putnam County, Florida

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For years, Rob Byers had his sights set on Seminole Electric. The problem, though, always came down to having the right resources. Before American Elevator Group (AEG) acquired American Service Group (ASG) in March 2021, Byers had to watch as other service companies placed bids on several projects for one of the largest electric generation and transmission cooperatives in the United States. Unrelenting, he maintained contact with Seminole Electric in hopes of obtaining those resources down the road. Following the acquisition, Byers, Vice president of ASG, got the resources he needed. With four associates in the Tampa Bay area capable of responding to the needs of Seminole Electric in a timely manner, he pitched a successful bid, finalized in the fourth quarter of 2021. “The team had been chasing this one for four-plus years,” Byers said. “Now, we have the resources to meet their requirements.” The project and those requirements were simple: provide maintenance, service and repairs on eight elevators between the Seminole Generating Station (SGS) and the Midulla Generating Station (MGS).

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Project Start Year
3-5 Years
Project Duration
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The Challenge

While the task appeared straightforward in scope, the execution became a larger hurdle than initially anticipated. The elevators were not in prime condition upon arrival because regular maintenance intervals had been deferred to focus on other plant-related expenditures.

“It’s a challenge because the equipment is not new,” Byers said. “You have the age factor and then you have the deferred maintenance.”

Ultimately, neglected routine maintenance caught up in the form of intensive repairs and service needs. This requires the ASG team to be on-site weekly to address the condition and functionality of the elevators.

The integrity of the eight elevators on-site is imperative to Seminole Electric’s power plants’ operation, which could falter if any of the elevators went out of service. Even with weekly visits, ASG must remain on call and ready for an emergency response should any of the elevators suffer an outage.

“The most important customer requirement is our emergency response capabilities,” Byers said.

A plant shutdown is not an option, considering everything that is at stake – Seminole Electric’s primary power resources are in the SGS and MGS power plants. The SGS began commercial operation in 1984 and consists of two 638-megawatt coal-fired generating units. The station sits on 2,000 acres in Putnam County, about 60 miles south of Jacksonville, Florida.

The MGS, located on the Hardee/Polk County line in Florida, is an 870 megawatt combined-cycle facility that uses two natural-gas-fired combustion turbines, two heat recovery steam generators and one steam turbine.

Collectively, those two power plants provide electricity for 1.9 million people and businesses in 42 Florida counties.

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The Experience

As of April 2022, ASG is still in the early stages of the three-to-five-year maintenance contract with Seminole Electric, yet they have already been tested during that short span.

Many of the elevators had more extensive service needs than previously expected, yet plant operators didn’t initially believe it. It took persistence and communication from ASG to help them understand the true needs of their equipment. This open and honest framework created a beneficial working environment for both companies.

“It’s a good experience because they know they can count on us,” Byers said. “Sometimes, 60% of the battle is showing up. We are extremely responsive.”

In one situation, ASG tried to show Seminole Electric that one of their elevators had several service issues when they thought it only had a minor problem. After a few conversations, Seminole Electric realized that the elevator did in fact have all the problems ASG identified. They soon thanked ASG and remarked on how much better the elevator functioned following the repairs.

“We sometimes run into a scenario where they think it’s worse than they thought and then we get them through it and they love us for it,” he said. “You earn your stripes with them.”

Byers described the relationship between the two companies as stable, adding that even with the demands of the elevators, they have found a common ground, which has made the experience worthwhile.

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The Result

As Byers knows from experience, persistence has its rewards. His tenacity with Seminole Electric – first from a distance and now with this project – will continue to provide ASG with additional opportunities.

Byers explained that part of their contract is based on how well ASG handles its maintenance responsibilities on the eight elevators. Should they continue to excel, an extension is likely and so is the probability of additional contracts. Their work ethic and service capabilities have already caught the attention of Seminole Electric, he said.

“They sense that we can be there (for them whenever they need us),” Byers said. “We work hard at having Plan A ready and Plan B ready as well.”

Even if future contracts don’t arrive from Seminole Electric, Lawson and his company know the power industry is well-connected. If they keep performing at a high level, word of mouth will reach the ears of other businesses.

“Word travels fast,” he said. “It’s a small world in the power industry. They’ll let others know that ASG does a solid job.”

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