| July/August 1974

Box 647, Amarillo, Texas 79177

The Fairbanks-Morse generating unit pictured above has been declared excess by its present owner, the United States Atomic Energy Commission, and will be offered for sale, this summer, to the highest bidder. The engine, a three-cylinder diesel (Model 32 E 14, Serial No. 815657) with companion generator (Type TGZO, 148 KW capacity) are presently installed at the Commission's Pantex Plant, Amarillo, Texas, where they have been standby for emergency power to the Plant's waterwells for 32 years.

This generating unit has outlived the memories of present Plant employees but, with the assistance of Fairbanks-Morse's successor firms, most of its history has been reconstructed. Of a type which was manufactured from 1910 until 1955, this particular unit was built in Beloit, Wisconsin in 1940, and on July 15 of that year, shipped to the Premier Granite Quarries, Llano, Texas. How the Government acquired the unit from Premier remains a mystery - perhaps bought; perhaps commandeered. The fact remains however, that the equipment was installed at the U.S. Army's Pantex Ordnance Plant in 1942. During the period 1942-1945, the Plant produced bombs and shells in support of the war effort. With the end of the war, in 1945, the Plant was abandoned and most of the production machinery sold or scrapped. Because the water wells were used to support a nearby housing area, the big unit was retained intact to provide emergency power.

In 1951, when the Atomic Energy Commission decided that the old Pantex Plant would be an ideal location for certain of its production operations, it inherited this grand old engine and its generating unit. In the years that followed, the engine was seldom used but was carefully maintained and remains in excellent operating condition. With the installation of natural gas powered engines at the well heads, however, backup electrical power is no longer needed.

Mr. W.W. Ward, of the Mason & Hanger-Silas Mason Co., Inc., the Commission's operating contractor at Pantex Plant, has announced that the entire generating unit, complete with air starting tank, compressor, pump, electrical control panel and accessories will be offered for sale on June 14, 1974. The equipment may be inspected between June 14 and August 20. Sealed bids received during this same period will be opened at 2:00 P.M. CDT on August 20. Experience with previous sales of excess equipment indicates that, due to its great size and weight and the expense of removal, the unit may be purchased for scrap and broken up on the spot. Because of its age, condition and 'veterans' preference' status, many of the Commission's and the Contractor's personnel are particularly anxious that the unit be acquired by someone who will keep it intact as operating equipment. Engine dimensions are 54' wide x 12' long x 8' high. The Generator is 8' long, and the flywheel is 10' wide x 7' in diameter.

Veteran Engine dimensions are 54' wide x 12' long x 8' high. The Generator is 8' long, and the flywheel is 10' wide x 7' in diameter.


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