MS Power pushes back Kemper plant in-service date, adds $43M to - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MS Power pushes back Kemper plant in-service date, adds $43M to price tag

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Mississippi Power is postponing the in-service date of the Kemper County lignite plant until October 31. The one month extension was announced Monday. 
Along with that change comes a revised cost estimate for the project, an additional $43 million.

The additional costs include schedule extension and the estimate to complete the remaining commissioning activities and bring the plant fully online. Specifically, the testing for the gas cleanup area.

That additional $43 million will not be paid by Mississippi Power customers, but rather is the responsibility of Mississippi Power and Southern Company.

Mississippi Power Spokesperson Cindy Duvall said they're making great progress and feel confident about the work going on at the site.

"Just one month ago we reached the most significant milestone to date when we made syngas from lignite, which validated the TRIG technology works on a commercial scale," Duvall said Monday. "We are deliberate in our approach to ensure we bring the remainder of Kemper online safely for the benefit of our customers and employees."

The power company released this statement Monday afternoon:

Mississippi Power continues making progress on the completion of the Kemper County energy facility. In July, the project reached its most significant milestone to date when it converted lignite to syngas.

The production of syngas, using the transport integrated gasification technology or TRIGTM, involved operating the “front end” of the plant and validated the TRIG technology works at commercial scale. The power plant portion, or the “back end” of the project, is already in service and has been providing safe, reliable electricity for our customers since August 2014.

As the company continues start-up and commissioning activities at Kemper, Mississippi Power announced today it is revising the facility’s scheduled in-service date to Oct. 31, 2016. The one-month extension is needed to make mechanical equipment modifications to the gasifiers’ supporting systems, complete the remaining commissioning activities on the syngas clean-up systems and integrate all systems necessary to generate electricity.

The company also revised its cost estimate subject to the cost cap for the Kemper project – since the last monthly report to the Mississippi Public Service Commission – to include an additional $43 million related to the schedule extension and start-up activities, for a total of approximately $81 million recorded for the second quarter of 2016.

All of those costs will be paid by Southern Company and Mississippi Power – not by Mississippi Power customers.

Mississippi Power’s analysis of the time needed to complete start-up and commissioning activities will continue until the remaining assets are placed in service.

The Kemper project team continues focusing on starting up and integrating various systems needed to achieve the next major milestone - using the syngas to produce electricity.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

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