Hydro Tasmania’s long history of power generation means many of our assets are old. We have a long-term view of asset management. Our approach is guided by our Asset Management Policy which incorporates our asset management strategy and dam safety risk management procedures.
The asset management strategy aims to ensure the safety and reliability of the major generation units. Specifically, the strategy aims to have 27 of the 50 major production lines not exposed to significant risk by 30 June 2015. This will ensure that the generation units that provide 70 per cent of our revenue will remain reliable and will comply with internal and regulatory obligations, such as safety of assets, operations and our duty of care to our people.
We prioritise asset upgrades using a risk assessment process, focusing on safety, environmental and revenue risk.
The dam safety risk management procedures ensure the Tasmanian community is not exposed to unacceptable risks associated with our dams, and are subject to biannual independent expert reviews. These procedures are supported by an emergency response plan.
This plan is also periodically reviewed and tested by Hydro Tasmania, with organisation-wide training keeping skills and knowledge up to date.
The key performance indicator for asset management is the number of production lines not exposed to significant risk that would cost more than $500 000 to rectify. In 2008/09, we met the target, see table 8.
In 2008/09, a major change to the total asset portfolio was that we ceased operating our 240 MW gas-fired power station at Bell Bay in April 2009. The power station provided supplementary generation for the hydropower system under low water inflow conditions and had been costly to maintain. During 2008/09 its reliability deteriorated, and our water storage position had improved to the point that it was no longer required. The end of its operational life occurred about six months ahead of the due date, which was to be the date of the full commissioning of the Aurora Energy Tamar Valley Power Station.
The asset management strategy also aims to reduce our maintenance costs over our assets’ life-cycle. During 2008/09, we reviewed our maintenance routines at several power stations, and implemented process improvements that resulted in significant savings. At Tungatinah alone, this resulted in a saving of 434 man hours a year. At the same time, we identified improvements in coordinating outages with production and trading opportunities which will add directly to our revenue.