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Mississippi Power adds a month, $43 million to Kemper opening

Mississippi Power on Monday added another month to the estimated schedule for getting the Kemper energy facility operating on lignite and added $43 million to the cost.
Mississippi Power on Monday added another month to the estimated schedule for getting the Kemper energy facility operating on lignite and added $43 million to the cost.

Mississippi Power announced Monday the Kemper County energy facility will take a month longer than last estimated to start generating electricity with lignite and cost an additional $43 million.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission the company said the estimated in-service date has moved to Oct. 31 from the previous date of Sept. 30.

The additional $43 million is for expenses during the one-month extension. It will cover testing on the syngas cleanup area, where carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide are removed that would be released into the air without this technology, along with sustaining operations on the gasifiers and getting all systems working together to generate electricity from lignite.

“This amount will not be paid by our customers — it is the responsibility of Mississippi Power and Southern Company,” said Cindy Duvall, company spokeswoman.

Mississippi Power previously reported $38 million in additional costs in the second quarter and this additional $43 million brings the total to $81 million for the second quarter from April through June.

Kemper originally was expected to cost $2.4 billion and was conceived as an alternative source of energy when the cost of natural gas was much higher than it is today. The facility’s cost now is at $6.68 billion and the company faces a lawsuit alleging it failed to disclose the cost and schedule of Kemper.

This week marks the two-year anniversary since the Kemper combined cycle began working, powered by natural gas.

On July 14 Mississippi Power announced it had reached the most significant milestone to date when Kemper made syngas from lignite. Duvall said this validated the TRIG technology works on a commercial scale.

“We are deliberate in our approach to ensure we bring the remainder of Kemper online safely for the benefit of our customers and employees,” she said.

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