Kemper County power plant costs rise again, now at $6.1 billion.


The cost of the Kemper County power plant has increased $25 million more, according to a report Mississippi Power filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

That brings the total cost of the plant to $6.1 billion, the filing that covers November says. It also says an additional $25 million to $50 million in increased construction costs is under review. That review is expected to be included in the report filed in January, Mississippi Power spokesman Jeff Shepard said in an email.

Electricity customers will pay for only the first $2.88 billion under a cap imposed by the state Public Service Commission.

The startup date for the plant remains sometime in the first half of 2016, Shepard said. The combined-cycle portion of the plant about 30 miles north of Meridian is running on natural gas and producing electricity. The gasifier portion, which will provide synthetic gas derived from lignite to fuel the combined-cycle plant, is under construction.

Critics of the project say Mississippi Power should use the combined-cycle portion of the plant to produce electricity with natural gas, which they say would be cheaper. Mississippi Power has said the integrated gasification combined-cycle technology will be cheaper over the 40-year life of the plant because the company has lignite available at a stable price, but the price of natural gas could increase.

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