UPDATE - Rouge Plant Shut Down by Outage, Operation at Standstill Until Monday -- At Least

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NOTE: UPDATE TO POST BY CARL JENKINS, 31 MARCH - http://greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=002spx


Title: Rouge plant shut down by outage

Operation at standstill until Monday -- at least

April 1, 2000


The Ford Rouge complex is expected to remain out of operation at least until Monday while crews hunt for the cause of a power surge Friday morning that led to a plant-wide electrical outage.

Ford Motor Co. officials said they did not know the cause of the surge, but the problem happened in a temporary substation built after an explosion ripped through the 80-year-old power plant in February of 1999. Six people died in that blast.

State investigative reports on last year's explosion and its aftermath mentioned continuing problems in the substation. They pointed out "deficiencies in training and operating procedures" in the running of the new facility.

Workers in the plant told the Free Press that an old fuse in the substation led to the outage. They blamed lack of maintenance.

A cutback in maintenance personnel was cited by state investigators as one reason why safety problems were not addressed in the old power plant.

Power went out just before 4 a.m. and hourly workers on at least two shifts were told not to report to work. Ford officials said any loss of production would be made up with overtime.

The substation powers several buildings in the sprawling Dearborn complex, which employs about 10,000.

Ford and Detroit Edison helped build the temporary substation, but Ford alone runs it now. A permanent power plant is currently being built and will be run by CMS Energy Corp., owner of Consumers Energy.

After the outage, about 25 Detroit Edison workers were on site to find the cause and help restore power.

Contact NIRAJ WARIKOO at 734-432-6501 or warikoo@freepress.com.



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), April 01, 2000

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