Steam plant slowly steaming again

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 25, 2000

A thin wisp of steam is emerging from the top of Entergy’s Natchez Steam Plant.

Entergy workers are preparing the 1949-model steam plant to be put back into operation soon.

The plant, located off Steam Plant Road North of Natchez, was shut down in the early 1990s and its reopening should bring about 10 jobs to area, Entergy officials said.

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The 73-megawatt plant will add power to Entergy’s available power reserves in Mississippi.

Last July, a heat wave and the unexpected shut down of two power plants forced Entergy into a brown out. Customers in four states lost power as Entergy officials worked to conserve the company’s power reserves.

On Sunday, a few workers milled about the plant and one said an operational date has not yet been determined.

The company’s plan to open the Natchez Steam Plant — and five others reserve plants in its system in other states — will help to prevent power losses like last year’s brownout, according to Entergy officials.

The plant reopenings are part of a $4.2 billion-five-year capital improvement plan announced by the company in December.

Before the plant is operational, workers must clean and test all of the equipment in the plant and install new environmental monitoring equipment.