Kim Holloway celebrates 25 years at New Madrid Power Plant
Associated Electric Cooperative employee Kim D. Holloway of Poplar Bluff celebrated his 25th year at New Madrid Power Plant, where he is a journeyman machinist mechanic.
“My father was a union electrician in the IBEW in St. Louis. He always told me to learn a trade, that you can always work your trade and find more opportunities for employment. The ‘knowledge is power’ kind of thing. I took it to heart,” said Holloway.
He came to the plant with years of experience in boilermaking and is the only welder mechanic in the maintenance department. In 1996, he became a journeyman machinist mechanic.
In his early years at New Madrid, Holloway was heavily involved in the conversion to low-sulfur coal, which was successful in reducing sulfur dioxide emissions 90 percent to meet Clean Air Act Amendments. “We did a lot of modifications to the plant in general, including handling systems and how the air was mixed in the cyclones,” he remembered. “It took many, many things to work out the wrinkles.”
A lot has changed at the plant since then, but the nature of the work is much the same, Holloway said. “We still work with nuts and bolts and hammers and wrenches. Some of the same work has been done for 40 years. There have been some improvements in small things, but most of the work has hardly changed compared to electronics and instrumentation.”
Today, Holloway works on mechanical, machine and welding projects. “We work on piping systems, valves, gear boxes and pump repairs. We do repairs to the buildings,” he said.
“A lot of guys in maintenance, including myself, we consider ourselves multicraft people who build, repair and troubleshoot,” he said. “That’s very satisfying. Sometimes we can literally make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. On a weekend when there are no replacement parts, we make parts.”
Looking back, Holloway said, “It’s been a challenging career being employed here. Their benefits and compensation are the best in the industry. It’s been very rewarding to work for a company that can give you a future.”
Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. is owned by and provides wholesale power to six regional and 51 local electric cooperative systems in Missouri, southeast Iowa and northeast Oklahoma that serve more than 875,000 customers. Associated’s mission is to provide an economical and reliable power supply and support services to its members, including the “Take Control & Save” energy efficiency program, www.TakeControlAndSave.coop. Associated is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.
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