Geotechnology engineers working at Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Plant project site

Mitsubishi Electric Power Products

Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Client: O’Neal Constructors, Inc.

Services: Environmental, Geotechnical


Geotechnology provided environmental, geotechnical subsurface exploration and geotechnical consulting services for the Mitsubishi Electric Power Products (MEPPI) manufacturing facility and connecting rail line. MEPPI’s new $207 million electric transformer manufacturing facility is on an approximately 150-acre site in south Memphis. The facility required rail connection to access nearby rail lines. Geotechnology conducted a subsurface exploration for the approximately ¾ mile long connecting line.

Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Facility Project Background

Geotechnology’s services, provided directly to Mitsubishi and the project engineer, included preliminary and design-phase geotechnical subsurface exploration. We also conducted environmental site assessments and wetlands/Waters of the United States delineation. This included state and federal permitting assistance for proposed wetlands impacts. Additionally, staff scientists conducted a wetland delineation and hydrologic determination of the site, identifying 5 wetlands, a stream, a harbor, and 10 wet weather conveyances.

The team coordinated with USACE, TDEC, and USFWS to obtain necessary Section 404/401 and Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) permits. The team also helped coordinate mitigation for the wetland impacts. While the Section 404/401 permits were relatively easy to acquire, the ARAP permit required submittal of alternatives, economic impact, purpose and justification, avoidance and minimization, alternative designs, and mitigation. We worked closely with MEPPI to prepare these sections.

Geotechnology performed a site specific seismic study using Multi Channel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) and Refraction Microtremor (ReMi) methods. The data provided reduced design seismic accelerations as compared to the International Building Code (IBC). Published data for the site allowed for a more economical seismic design and construction requirements.

Due to Mitsubishi’s aggressive due diligence schedule, several of Geotechnology’s services were requested to be conducted on an accelerated schedule. Geotechnology was able to exceed Mitsubishi’s schedule requirements for all pre-construction services. The project broke ground in the summer of 2011 and was completed in 2014.

“We are extremely satisfied with [Geotechnology’s] professionalism, technical expertise and responsiveness shown during the performance of the geotechnical investigation phase of the project. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to work together during the implementation phase as well.”

Rick Valente, Senior Project Manager
O’Neal Constructors Inc.