ROSEMONT, Ill., May 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ameren Corporation's AmerenEnergy Generating Hutsonville Power Plant was recognized by the PRB Coal Users' Group as the 2009 "Plant of the Year"- small plant category at their annual meeting on May 11, 2009, held in Chicago. The award was presented to recognize the employees, the plant, and Ameren for their culture promoting safe and efficient handling of powder river basin (PRB) coals.
Plants nominated for the PRB Coal Users' Group "Plant of the Year" are subject to rigorous reviews by the Users' Group's board of directors. Each plant receives an extensive walk-through audit, where the plant is evaluated from the coal receiving system through the coal yard and to the combustion process. An emphasis is placed on proactive approaches to protecting people, not just on equipment or systems, and their operating practices and plant culture.
Bob Taylor, chairman of the PRB Users' Group, stated "The Hutsonville Plant is a smaller plant in size but one with a huge heart. Theirs is a story of family. Whenever faced with uncertainty, first by the need to be price-competitive in the changing market and more recently with the whole discussion of where our industry is headed...the employees at Hutsonville responded with the cohesiveness of family and plowed forward always taking care of each other, their families and business. They share a remarkable story of how to improve and change, while making it look simple."
Hutsonville Production Superintendent Gregory Musch expressed his deep appreciation for the award, citing the "ownership" of Hutsonville employees as the driving reason for this singular award. "Our employees are never ones to say 'that's not my job,'" says Musch. "Instead, they look for an innovative approach to overcome any obstacle. We don't seek out recognition, but this is an honor we're very proud of because this highly respected organization recognized our plant's many strengths. It was especially important to the plant to receive this award in honor of the late Steve V. Miller, who for many years was our plant manager and who died in March just weeks before we received this honor."
Ameren Energy Generating Company's Hutsonville Power Plant is located in Crawford County near Hutsonville, Ill. The two-unit 151-megawatt (MW) plant was commissioned in 1953. The power plant was originally designed to use high sulfur Illinois Basin coal, but converted to PRB coal beginning with a test burn in 2004. The plant now uses 100 percent PRB coal.
The plant efficiently operated while making numerous modifications to accommodate the use of PRB coal, including the entire replacement of an aged coal yard--eliminating six existing conveyors, two crushers and other equipment.
More recently, in June 2008, Hutsonville marked six years with zero lost-time accidents--maintaining that safety culture through a demanding schedule of reduced outage times.
The PRB Coal Users' Group is a non-profit organization formed nine years ago with the mission to promote safe and efficient use of PRB coals by those who use it or are considering its use. They do not lobby for its use, only provide a venue to bring users, and those who support the users, together to share better practices, educate on the risks, and truly help one another.
Randy Rahm, Past Chairman and Executive Director of the group lauded Hutsonville Plant's dedication: "I am pleased to see a company step up and focus on the safe and productive handling of PRB Coal."
Past recipients recognized as the PRB Coal Users' Group Plant of the Year are Big Brown Plant (Luminant Power), Lawrence Energy Center (Westar Energy), Monticello Generating Station (Luminant Power), Kincaid Power Station (Dominion Energy), Jeffrey Energy Center (Westar Energy) Labadie Power Plant (AmerenUE), Tecumseh Energy Center (Westar Energy) and Miller Steam Plant (Alabama Power), www.prbcoals.com.
Ameren Corporation, (NYSE: AEE) based in St. Louis, is parent to non-rate-regulated generating operations and four utility companies in Illinois and Missouri. Those companies provide electricity to 2.4 million customers and natural gas to nearly one million customers. Ameren contact: Susan Gallagher 314-554-2175
SOURCE: Ameren Corporation