KEMPER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi Power says its lignite plant in Kemper County has reached a "significant milestone." The company said the plant started producing syngas using lignite coal mined in Mississippi.
"Producing syngas from Mississippi's own abundant natural resource, lignite, should be encouraging to our customers, communities and energy companies around the world," Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony Wilson said in a news release. "This proves that Kemper's technology can provide a way forward for coal and puts us a step closer to full plant operation."
According to the power company, lignite coal is converted to syngas when it is heated to high temperatures in the plant's gasifiers. That gas is then used to power a turbine, which produces electricity.
Company officials say the process is similar to power plants that use natural gas, but the Kemper County facility is designed to capture at least 65 percent of carbon dioxide produced. That captured carbon dioxide will be used to extract oil from depleted oil fields.
The next major milestone for the $6.7 billion investment will be producing electricity using syngas. The team working on the Kemper project will focus on that goal in the coming weeks.