19 March 2010 — Mississippi Power Co. is proposing to cap the cost of its proposed 582 MW Kemper County integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) coal-fired power plant at $3.2 billion, or almost $5,500/kW. The cap would be around 30 percent higher than the current estimate of $2.4 billion, or $4,123/kW, for the coal-fired power plant.
Mississippi Power executives last month told state regulators the company could guarantee neither the cost nor performance of the coal-fired IGCC facility without risking the company’s future credit rating and access to capital.
“While Mississippi Power recognizes there are no provisions in the law for cost caps, we also recognize the commission’s need and our customers’ need for some reasonable assurances against uncontrolled cost increases,” the utility said in a statement on March 18.
The facility is being designed to burn Mississippi lignite. State regulators are weighing the risk and rate impact of building the coal project versus buying power under long-term contracts from existing generating plants that burn natural gas. The three-member commission is expected to issue a decision in early May.
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