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March 05

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All:

Facility Performance

If we make a relatively safe assumption that both our Spring and Fall outages will stay on track (9 days and 35 days, respectively), we'll see that Q1 has put us well on the way to our max target of 69% Equivalent Availability for the year. I realize it doesn't sound like much but targets are important, especially since this year will mark a significant outage and capital project to recover from our persistent transformer issues. To run the numbers, we should have something in the range of 95% EAF for Q2, followed by a Q4 rating of around 50%. Our year-end would then predictably be about 73%....plenty of wiggle room from this side of the calendar. The Q1 numbers looked ‘outstanding'…despite several opportunities to cycle the units throughout the month we never missed a single dispatch schedule. I look forward to continued success in the coming summer months and again, Super Job everyone!

March 2005

  • Production= 607,286 MWhr
  • March Equivalent Availability:
    • Block 1: 99.7%
    • Block 2: 100.0%
  • Q1 Combined Average Equivalent Availability= 75.5 %
    (2005 Max Target Q1-2-4 is 69.2%)
  • Q1 Average Net Heat Rate: 7004 Btu/kWhr
  • Technical Availability: 100 % (great!)

Operations

Operations Excellence

Congratulations to Shift 1 for their winning the Operational Excellence Award in March. The lucky shift gets a free trip to Cancun , courtesy of Steve Perrizo .

Shifts:

We've said good-bye to a number of our Team members in recent months and it leaves us finding, testing, and hiring replacements. As we conduct this search, all of you need to keep in mind that this is a temporary situation and we'll soon be back up to our original staffing. There is no hidden agenda to drop staffing levels nor do we have intentions to tolerate this for very long; only a few weeks at the most. The consequence of our situation provides an opportunity to seek people who will complement our Team, bringing new skills and talents that will enhance our own capabilities. The goal is to have a full staff again before the end of May….and you will then find yourselves as indispensable mentors as we enter into the summer season.

We also find ourselves being able to move people up into positions that have become vacant. Last week we designated three Mesquite Team members as Senior Gas Turbine Technicians, giving them areas of responsibility that were once administered by John Lopez and Mike Cox . Please note the following assignments: Bob Ellis in the area of Training, Ed McMurren in the area of Operations, and Ches Wright in the area of Maintenance. These individuals will have increasing roles in their defined scopes and will be expected to provide additional support and leadership to the Team. Please afford them your full support as they transition into their new responsibilities over the coming weeks.

May Outage:

The spring outage will take place from May 1 st through the 9 th with one power block in operation at all times. The feeling with any outage at Mesquite is that we try to cram as much work scope as possible into a (very narrow) available time slot. Unfortunately this one is no different, especially given the fact that our operational support numbers are marginal and we won't be shutting down the entire facility. What might seem like a small work list suddenly becomes quite a bit to chew on when your staff is reduced. I'll honestly say that if the borescope and the water washes are completed in the time we've made available, everything else is just added luxury. Control system cleaning, valve repairs, warranty work, and fixing of leaks can only enhance the reliability of our facility….therefore we would be irresponsible in letting anything go undone if we can help it. Klondyke, Labcreek, Hampton Tedder, and Laron will all be supporting us for the May outage.

We'll be having a cook-out lunch and pre-outage meeting on Thursday, April 28 th . Other details to follow but please plan to attend.

Update: 500kV Transformers:

The A-phase unit has been reassembled for the drying process and this step should take about 2-3 weeks. Once dried, the core and coil will be re-torqued and the unit will then go through a series of electrical tests. If everything is put back together correctly, we should see the unit returned to the pedestal on or about the first week of June.

Gassing of the Fuji units is still a concern and there's a slight possibility we have to take a short outage to address this issue. The B and C units have stabilized but with hot weather imminent, higher gas concentrations may put us above our comfort level going into peak season.

In Order of Appearance

Richard Carter and David Jeon will be onsite sometime during the first part of our outage.

We've contracted with a Safety/Environmental company (ETC) to support us as third-party safety observers during the outage.

An RFP went out to the chemical services (e.g. GE Betz, ASI) and chemical vendors (eg. Hill Bros, Univar) for the remainder of 2005 and for a 12-month period. Quotes are required back in early May and we hope to award contracts starting June 1.

The conceptual design meeting for the Wildlife Habitat project is scheduled for first week of May with Logan Simpson. Steve Komonce will be picking up where Jeff Zaifert left off in assisting Steve Perrizo on this project.

The design review meetings with Siemens (transformers) were held at Mesquite last week. The schedule of construction is available for anyone who wants to see it but essentially the units will be completed and factory tested in early September and will arrive to the site in November. One objective necessary for us to achieve is the Site Use Permit modification that allows us to expand our switchyard. This county approval process may take several months and is required to be completed before construction of the new yard can begin. The application will be submitted this week.

RATA and stack testing will be performed on block 1 units during the week of May 23 rd .

SRP has scheduled a Grid Disturbance meeting on May 27 th at their Power Dispatch Office. This would be a very interesting meeting for someone wanting to know more about summer peak issues.

Plant labeling begins in early May (contracted service).

In Summary

Those of you who know me well, realize that I'm often one to comment on what I find that isn't right. I regret that I sometimes have to catch myself (or someone else does) in this poor example of leadership, especially when it involves people who have put their hearts and souls into what they do for a living. There are many times that I'm out in the plant however, and see the tremendous amount of effort being made by individuals who have not sought recognition for their contributions. A clean facility, manicured landscape, new hangers for tools, a picked-up shop, leaks being managed extremely well. I note the unmistakable piles of sweepings beneath equipment, hoses wrapped and hung where they should be, roads cleared, a warehouse neatly arranged. Clarifiers that work, innovative responses to chronic operational issues, intricately thought-out designs for upgrades, 100% Technical Availability day, after day, after day. These are key indicators that you have taken ownership for what is yours. The outcome responsibility is at the lowest possible level in our organization and it shows. I will probably never be able to show enough appreciation for all that you do, but I hope the most of you have accepted personal satisfaction as its own reward.

Collectively, we are big thinkers…the ”we” meaning Mesquite Power. We have earned the distinction of Top Plant of the Year, received accolades from neighbors, government agencies, newspapers, company presidents. We are on our way to earning a state-level safety award given only to seven other Arizona companies. Our facility is sparkling evidence of the proud and caring Team that operates it. Very simply, if you're going to think anyway…why not think Big?  2005 is going to be a fantastic year for Mesquite Power: ADOSH SHARP, VFA Environmental Excellence, ADEQ Performance Track, ADWR cycles resolution, MCAQD NOV resolution, and a Q3 target to beat. I was told that a member of a neighboring plant once stated they were just as capable of earning these awards as Mesquite was. Perhaps the only difference then is that we actually went after them….

Best Regards,

Merritt

 

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