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Geneva eyes Euros to repair, replace cylinder head

City needs replacement cylinder head for generating facility

GENEVA – Aldermen at the Committee of the Whole on Aug. 19 recommended approval of the purchase of a cylinder head for the Caterpillar engines at the Geneva Generation Facility at a cost of 25,000 euros.

The cylinder head comes from a single source, Caterpillar Motoren GmbH & Company in Kiel, Germany, hence the need to convert $28,213.75 in U.S. currency to euros, officials said.

The cylinder head was rebuilt in 2017 after it failed and was used as a backup or spare, officials said.

During preseason maintenance, the head was placed in service and it failed again after several hours of operation, officials said.

It was the same failure that occurred in 2017, officials said.

The plant operator observed that the cylinder was not coming up to operating temperature during the start sequence, prompting safety systems to shut the cylinder down, officials said.

While the generating facility has been operating at full capacity, it does not have a spare cylinder head.

Hal Wright, superintendent of electrical services, said the cylinder head weighs about 850 pounds and is larger than a locomotive engine.

Caterpillar Power Systems officials’ opinion was that the cylinder head should be returned to the factory in Germany, officials said.

Caterpillar Motoren GmbH gave a replacement cost of 25,000 euros, with a possible credit of 15,000 euros that would be applied to the purchase if the company determines that the cylinder head is repairable.

The final cost will depend on the exchange rate at the time of purchase and evaluation of the cylinder head, officials said.

As Caterpillar Motoren GmbH is the sole source provider for these parts, the bidding requirement was waived, which aldermen agreed to.

The City Council will take final action.

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