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Kemper plant will cost more, take longer to start operating

The Kemper energy facility now is expected to be operational at the end of November instead of in October, Mississippi Power said Monday. The cost also increased by $33 million.
The Kemper energy facility now is expected to be operational at the end of November instead of in October, Mississippi Power said Monday. The cost also increased by $33 million. Mississippi Power

Mississippi Power now expects to start operating the Kemper County energy facility on lignite Nov. 30 instead of October, and increased the estimated cost by $33 million.

In its monthly report to the Public Service Commission on Monday, the company said $5 million was added in August to the cost for repairs, modifications and mechanical improvements and $28 million is related to the schedule extension. These additional costs will be paid by Mississippi Power and Southern Company — not by Mississippi Power customers, the company said.

The cost of the facility now stands at $6.9 billion, and Mississippi Power and Southern Company have paid about $2.6 billion, the companies said.

The project is making progress. The first gasifer at Kemper converted lignite to syngas in July and the second in September.

Mississippi Power said in a press release that the one-month extension will give the company time to prepare both gasifiers for the next milestone of production of electricity on syngas and to complete the integration of all systems necessary for both combustion turbines to simultaneously generate electricity with syngas

Also on Monday, Mississippi Power filed to open the PSC docket that will allow its customers to comment and ask questions about the Kemper project.

The discovery docket provides information on the procedures used to design and build Kemper and the accounting procedures. It also provides an overview of how the company expects the plant to perform in the first five years following the startup.

Once the file is processed, it will be available on the Public Service Commission website.

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