Southern Co. said Thursday that it will cost at least another $59 million to finish the power plant it’s building in eastern Mississippi’s Kemper County, pushing the total cost above $5.6 billion
The Atlanta-based parent of Mississippi Power Co. also announced that the work on the parts of the plant that will gasify lignite and extract chemicals now won’t be done until the second half of 2015. Another part, where turbines generate electricity, is running on natural gas.
The additional money is supposed to pay for material and labor during the plant’s startup phase, including contract workers to help test equipment and systems. Last month, Southern increased the amount of money for these items by $29 million.
Mississippi Power said it, and not its 186,000 customers from Meridian to the Gulf Coast, will pay the additional money.
Customers are already paying 18 percent higher rates for Kemper. Mississippi Power has said it’s likely to seek an additional increase of at least 4 percent over 20 years to pay off $1 billion in bonds that the Legislature is allowing the company to issue as part of the settlement.
The plant and associated lignite coal mine were originally supposed to cost $2.8 billion.