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April 04

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Operations/Performance

One of the problems with establishing the performance baseline of the Fleet is that the parent company (i.e. Corporate) will tend to expect this of you on a consistent basis. Given the results of the Outage inspections and subsequent delayed restart of Block 1, our task of maintaining the top numbers will become all the more difficult, though not impossible. We have succeeded in areas where most have chronically struggled and I feel confident 2004 will prove to be a spectacular year for Mesquite despite our recent setbacks. In my quick calculation, Q2 Equivalent Availability is going to end up somewhere around 87 %. Combined with Q1, our net EAF going into the third quarter will be about 93%, which still keeps us well in the range of our target. When Block 1 returns to service this week, we'll have only 14 days total (both Blocks) of downtime available to meet our 2004 EAF (Q1-2-4) target of 89.7%. We'll consume some of these days on resolving the STG4 vibration issue and the remainder on a Block 1 CI and Block 2 end-of-warranty outage in the fall. Again, Q3 is calculated separately at 95%, allowing us only 4 days (total, both Blocks) of downtime during the period of July-September.

Though we didn't match February's numbers, we came pretty darn close in April. Both Blocks ran exceptionally well regardless of some errant button-pushing and what appeared to be construction negligence on GT5 excitation wiring. Both events were valuable lessons learned.

April 2004

  • Production= 604,937 MWhr
  • Combined Average Equivalent Availability= 99.6%
  • Average Net Heat Rate= 7167 Btu/kWhr
  • Technical Availability= 100.02%

Please take an opportunity to review the full April 2004 report on the Mesquite webpage at http://www.mesquitepower.com/business/ppt/Apr-04.ppt.

Spring Outage

Awesome job by everyone! Block 2 went like clockwork, two days ahead of schedule, and I think that means I owe you all something. We have a vibration issue to resolve before getting too deep into summer but once we get through the rest of this downtime, we'll bring in the grills and celebrate a hugely successful turn-around. Joe thought we should call it a "Thank God it's Over" (TGIO) party. I agree.

If you think about the number of issues discovered on Block 1 and the severity of what was found, you can start to imagine what kind of summer we would have in front of us if we didn't take the time to inspect these components and do the repairs now. One Forced Outage after another, in the middle of our most prized operating period, would make for a very long summer.

Shift Operations

By now many of you have taken the time to read the email regarding changes we'll be making to the Shifts beginning June 1st. My only reiteration on this is to state that the Support Shift should not be considered solely a "maintenance" group, nor would I expect to hear that from anyone at Mesquite. You all know what it takes to operate this facility, and I would expect simple repairs are accomplished by on-Shift personnel as well as the Support Shift. The rotation has been well thought out, and we anticipate greater opportunities for training, maintenance, and time-off with the new schedule.

Congratulations to Shift 2 (Ed, Pat, Dave, Doug, and Bob) for being the Team to win the Mesquite Operations Excellence Incentive Plan award for the month of April. The results are shown below, and if you have any specific questions, Steve Perrizo will be happy to address them. Steve will be handing out Harkins movie passes to each of the winners this week.

Due to the miserable data results for May, I've decided to skip this month and restart the Plan on June 1st. In June, you'll have an additional target of "Demin Water Usage/MW Produced" that will be weighted at 10%. Safety and Environmental PM's will be weighted heavier than maintenance PM's and we'll also be using a realtime Heat Rate curve rather than the Facility average.


Briefly, the criteria for the April targets are as follows:

  • MW Deviation is an accumulation of any MW production that is not "on schedule". MW above are treated the same as MW below. Technical Availability is not used here because a particular hour "above" 100% TAF would negate a following hour that is equally below TAF.
  • Heat Rate is an absolute deviation from the Facility Average Heat Rate for the month of April. This number is 7167 Mmbtu/kWhr and represents all hours of operation for April. A negative Heat Rate is a positive influence on the actual score, whereas a positive Heat Rate (above the Facility average) will obviously count against you.
  • Work Orders are weighted against the total amount for the month. In the future, work orders will be weighted individually.

See results on universal drive..

Power Magazine

Ken Wicker was excited to be part of our Spring Outage and has written a very flattering article about Mesquite (he let me read it). As an FYI, the "Top Plant Awards" will be announced in June as the nominees for the Power Plant of the Year. The July/August edition will profile each of the nominees. Sometime between June and August, the magazine Editors will select the Power Plant of the Year and then feature it in the September/October edition.

Next Month

We're going into June with power prices roughly 15% higher than they were this time last year. Gas is at an all time high of ~$6/MmBtu, making our local spark spread barely $8/MW on-peak. Of course, this is why you probably don't see our neighbors running a whole lot these days....gas is up there pretty high. After June 1st however, power prices will expectedly improve to meet gas prices and then the game is on. Our intention is to resolve all outstanding mechanical issues prior to July 1st, and most preferably before mid-June. This may include an additional outage on Block 2 and possibly an outage on GT1, though each of the relevant issues is being evaluated during the next several days of operation.

Please see me with any questions. Keep up the Super work!

Best Regards,

Merritt

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