Mississippi Power again pushes Kemper start date, adding $38M to plant’s cost

Published 9:26 pm Monday, May 1, 2017

KEMPER COUNTY (AP) — Mississippi Power has added another month and $38 million to the Kemper County energy facility before it can go into service with lignite coal.

The cost of the facility now tops $7 billion.

Southern Company, Mississippi Power’s parent company, will report its quarterly earnings Wednesday. On Monday it reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it now expects Kemper to be operational with lignite by May 31.

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On April 3, Mississippi Power pushed the expected start date to April 30.

The new delay is to repair a leak in a particulate control devices for gasifier A, to make other minor modifications to each gasifier’s ash removal systems, repair the sour water system and establish sustained operation of both gasifiers for the production of electricity from syngas, the company said.

The report also adds an additional $38 million to the estimated cost, including $22 million to extend the date, $8 million for start-up fuel and $8 million for the repair.

Mississippi Power said the additional cost will not be paid by customers, however, it must submit a financing plan to the state Public Service Commission by June 3. That body decides how much customers pay.

Overall, customers could be asked to pay $4.3 billion. Southern shareholders have lost $2.9 billion.