/Kemper County plant delayed again

Kemper County plant delayed again

Mississippi Power stated Monday in its monthly report to state Public Service Commission that the plant will be running on lignite as soon as possible. According to the company, the plant would start on Oct. 31. The project’s total cost is now $6.9 billion, more than two years late. Jeff Shepard, a Mississippi Power spokesperson, said that Mississippi Power needs to allow Mississippi Power to prepare the plant’s gasifiers for electricity production using synthesis gas. Also, the utility must integrate the systems required to enable both the plant’s combustion engines to generate electricity simultaneously. Shepard stated in an email that the company had also changed the cost estimate, subject to the Kemper project’s cost cap to add $33 million. He stated that the cost of repairs, modifications, and mechanical improvements, as well as $28 million related with the extension, will be covered by Mississippi Power and its Atlanta parent Southern Co. and not Mississippi Power customers. Shepard said that the project is moving towards completion. In July, the first gasifer of the plant started to convert lignite into syngas. The second gasifer was activated in September. The plant is currently powered by natural gas. The delay was announced on the same day Mississippi ratepayers could access more information about the plant operations via a Public Service Commission “discovery Docket,” an electronic file on the commission’s website that relates to the Kemper facility. The docket allows ratepayers to examine documents related the plant and pose questions to both Mississippi Power and the commission about the project.