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Kemper facility reaches another milestone with lignite

Two months after producing syngas on the first gasifier at its Kemper County energy facility, Mississippi Power announced it has started producing syngas using the second gasifier, continuing progress toward the project’s commercial operation.
Two months after producing syngas on the first gasifier at its Kemper County energy facility, Mississippi Power announced it has started producing syngas using the second gasifier, continuing progress toward the project’s commercial operation.

Mississippi Power announced Friday the Kemper County energy facility’s second gasifier is producing syngas using lignite.

This comes two months after the first gasifier began producing syngas, and Mississippi Power Chairman Anthony Wilson said, “This is another exciting step toward commercial operation of Kemper.”

For two years, the facility has been making electricity with natural gas. The company said in its latest report to the Mississippi Public Service Commission it expects to have the plant operational with lignite by Oct. 31.

“Accomplishing this milestone on the second gasifier is key to the project’s completion,” Wilson said. “We have a tremendous team that is working hard to make the entire Kemper project a clean, safe and reliable energy resource for our customers.”

Syngas is created when the locally mined lignite is heated at high temperatures in the plant’s gasifiers, converting the coal to gas, the company said in a press release. The syngas, which is used in a way similar to natural gas, produces electricity through the plant’s combustion turbines.

In the coming weeks at Kemper, work will focus on testing of the syngas cleanup systems and producing electricity using syngas. Ahead of using the syngas as fuel, it will be burned off using the plant’s flare stacks.

The cost of the Kemper facility, originally expected to be $2.4 billion, is $6.7 billion.

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