MT. ENTERPRISE, Texas – Employees at Tenaska Gateway Generating Station near Mt. Enterprise have been honored with the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star, the nation’s highest safety designation. This prestigious recognition is conferred by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
“We could not be more proud of the employees at Tenaska Gateway for their continued commitment to safety,” said Todd Jonas, Tenaska senior vice president, operations & asset management. “Having a strong commitment to workplace safety helps to ensure that employees return home safely at the end of the day and that the community remains protected from potential hazards. It also contributes to the reliable operation of the plant.”
Jonas spoke Thursday at a celebratory luncheon held in recognition of the plant’s 28 employees. Approximately 65 people were in attendance.
Tenaska Gateway becomes one of 2,300 U.S. worksites and one of 335 Texas worksites to achieve the VPP Star. The VPP process includes a rigorous evaluation of a facility’s safety protocols and often takes years to complete.
“It is an honor and privilege to award the VPP Star to a company that is committed to the safety and health of their employees,” said Basil Singh, Area Director in the OSHA Dallas Office. “It took a tremendous amount of dedication and hard work from all employees to achieve this award. Your facility has joined an elite group of companies that are dedicated to the cause of having a great safety and health program. Tenaska Gateway not only talks-the-talk but walks-the-walk when it comes to safety and health of their employees.”
In addition to the VPP Star designation, employees also have been recognized with 42 National Safety Council Awards since 2004, including four for their 2017 safety performance:
- The Superior Safety Performance Award, which honors facilities that have achieved 10 or more consecutive years without an OSHA lost-time incident.
- The Safety Leadership Award, which recognizes organizations that have achieved five or more consecutive years without an occupational injury or illness resulting in days away from work.
- The Perfect Record Award, which recognizes companies that have completed at least 12 consecutive months without incurring an OSHA lost-time injury or illness; and
- The Occupational Excellence Achievement Award, which honors plants for operating with a safety record equal to or better than 50 percent of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics rates within the industry for lost-time illnesses and injuries.
Employees at Tenaska Gateway have worked more than 14 years with zero occupational injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work.
Plant Manager Steve Pearson said, “Being recognized by OSHA as a VPP Star facility demonstrates the commitment our team has to safety and excellence in all that we do. This has been an employee-driven effort, and I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish.”
Tenaska Gateway is fueled by clean-burning natural gas. It produces electricity for sale to Shell Energy North America (US), L.P., which markets the power. The plant is capable of producing 845 megawatts of electricity, enough to meet the needs of approximately 845,000 households.
The Tenaska Gateway facility paid more than $36.6 million in property taxes through 2017, making it one of the largest taxpayers in Rusk County. More than $6 million is injected into the area economy each year through employee salaries and payments to local contractors and vendors.
In addition, employees volunteered 275 hours to support local community and charitable projects in 2017. The plant has awarded $140,000 in scholarships to 173 college-bound high school seniors to date.
The plant is owned Tenaska Gateway Partners, Ltd., which is comprised of affiliates of Tenaska, Osaka Gas Energy America Corporation, Diamond Generating Corporation, Tyr Energy, Inc. and JERA Co., Inc.
About Tenaska Gateway Partners, Ltd.
Tenaska, an energy company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, formed Tenaska Gateway Partners, Ltd. to build, own and operate the Tenaska Gateway Generating Station. Affiliates of Tenaska serve as the managing partner and operator.