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Kemper plant cost rises $70M as start date pushed again

Mississippi Power announced Monday it expects the Kemper energy facility to be operational with lignite coal by April 30.
Mississippi Power announced Monday it expects the Kemper energy facility to be operational with lignite coal by April 30.

Mississippi Power announced Monday that it expects the Kemper County energy facility to be in service using lignite by April 30.

The company also upped the cost estimate by $70 million in its February report to the Mississippi Public Service Commission, which spokesman Jeff Shepard said will be paid by Mississippi Power and Southern Co. and not its customers.

The breakdown of costs is: $45 million related to extending the projected schedule through April 30, $15 million for start-up fuel and $10 million for outage work and operational maintenance and improvements.

In its January report, Mississippi Power reported leaks in tubes on one of the syngas coolers and estimated the start date at mid-March. The company said the leaks in the tubes made that date unattainable.

“The schedule adjustment is related to repairs of tube leaks and associated corrective actions in one of the project’s syngas coolers,” Shepard said. “The repairs have been completed and the new schedule reflects the time needed for restarting that portion of the plant and to achieve integrated operation of all plant systems.”

While one syngas system was down for repairs, he said the other system remained in operation and producing clean syngas for chemical product production and electric power generation.

Integrated operation will occur when both of the plant’s gasification systems, the gas cleanup and generation systems operate simultaneously, he said.

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