Mississippi Power, Southern Company being investigated by SEC

Mississippi Power, Southern Company being investigated by SEC

KEMPER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - According a federal filing, Southern Company and Mississippi Power are being investigated by the Securities Exchange Commission.

The investigation is due to the 'estimated costs and expected in-service date' of the Kemper power plant under construction.

Southern's quarterly report noted, "Southern Company and Mississippi Power believe the investigation is focused primarily on periods subsequent to 2010 and on accounting matters, disclosure controls and procedures, and internal controls over financial reporting associated with the Kemper IGCC."

Both companies are cooperating with the SEC. The outcome is unknown at this time, but it is not expected to impact the 'financial statements of Mississippi Power.'

"The company started to pick up indications that public awareness of the investigation had matured to a point that, in our judgment, it should be disclosed. As this is an ongoing investigation, please understand that we cannot provide details beyond what we have already provided in our 10-Q," said Jeff Shepard, Mississippi Power spokesman.

The plant initially predicted to cost $2.88 billion to build currently has a construction price tag of $6.58 billion. The company can only pass on construction reimbursement costs to its customers to cover the $2.88 billion.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission released a statement, saying in part, "The Public Service Commission is and was aware of the SEC's investigation. The SEC has characterized the investigation as "non-public" and we will be respectful of that. This Public Service Commission will continue to monitor the Kemper IGCC Project and will fully examine all relevant issues in due course and take the appropriate actions to ensure that the ratepayers are treated fairly."

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