Another delay and rising cost for MS Power's Kemper Co. plant

KEMPER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - There's another delay for Mississippi Power's lignite plant in Kemper County. On Tuesday company officials announced they expect the facility will be placed in service in the first half of 2016.

Company officials also said for September the company identified additional costs of $330 million. That makes the total cost of the Kemper County facility $6.1 billion, which is more than double the initial cost estimate of $2.88 billion. The additional $330 million dollar increase in the plant's cost will not impact costumers, officials said.

“While it will take longer to complete the project, and the capital costs are higher than expected, Mississippi Power still believes in the team that is responsible for constructing and starting up the plant, along with the operations team currently running the combined cycle and training personnel for full operation of the gasification facility,” CEO Ed Holland said.

Right now the plant is producing electricity for Mississippi Power customers through the combine cycle system, which began operating in August. Currently, natural gas is being used to power the plant. However, the combine cycle will ultimately be fueled by lignite, which is what the plant is designed to do.

Company officials say construction has essentially been completed on the entire plant. However, the gasifier that will turn Mississippi lignite into a gas is not ready to be in service yet.

This facility is the first of its kind.

Copyright 2014

. All rights reserved.