The US Army recently announced a $61 million infrastructure modernization project at the Rock Island (Illinois) Arsenal (RIA) Joint Manufacturing Technology Center (JMTC), the largest government-owned and operated arsenal in the United States.

The project will support critical infrastructure improvements at the industrial facility that will cut energy use by approximately 35 percent and generate up to $5.3 million in annual energy and operational savings.

The RIA’s mission is to take war-fighting requirements from all of the services from design and prototyping through manufacturing, testing and simulation. It is the Department of Defense’s (DOD) only fully integrated foundry and manufacturing facility.

The Army launched the technology center upgrades through a 20-year energy-savings performance contract with Honeywell that was awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Ala. Honeywell guarantees the improvements will generate the target savings, which should repay the investment used to fund the work. As a result, the project requires no capital or additional taxpayer dollars up front.

“This project lets us tackle our aging infrastructure head on, a difficult task in light of budget cutbacks, so we can operate as efficiently as possible and support mission readiness,” said Col. David J. 
Luders, commander at the RIA-JMTC.

The 1.5-million-square-foot JMTC facility manufactures a wide variety of metal parts and systems for the DOD and is part of the RIA.

JMTC accounts for two-thirds of the garrison’s overall energy consumption. So along with the immediate savings, the project will help the garrison meet the requirements of a Presidential Executive Order that calls for federal facilities to reduce energy consumption 30 percent by 2015.

As part of the project, Honeywell will implement a variety of facility improvements, which include installing high-­efficiency HVAC systems, such as on-premise natural-gas heating that will allow the facility to disconnect from the garrison’s central coal-fired steam plant.

The project will save nearly 5.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. In addition, the Honeywell work is expected to deliver environmental benefits. As a result of transitioning to natural gas heating, for example, annual coal use at the central plant will drop by approximately 12,000 tons.

Honeywell and the Army began the project in January and expect to complete the upgrades by mid-2017.