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Kemper Facility Hit With Another Delay and Overrun

By Editors of Power Engineering

Mississippi Power’s Kemper County facility, already long-delayed and over-budget, was hit with another delay and price overrun.

The facility is now slated to begin operations on December 31, the utility reported. One month ago, Mississippi Power estimated the start date would be November 30.

Additionally, the total development cost of Kemper Power will rise by another $25 million due to the schedule extension. Development costs are now over $6.9 billion.

Kemper and its associated coal mine was originally budgeted at $2.9 billion. It’s also two years behind schedule.

The latest delay was caused by a decision to begin a maintenance outage on gasifier A to make improvements to the ash removal systems. During the outage, the company will bring gasifier B online in order to implement necessary testing.

Kemper’s new schedule reflects achieving electricity on gasifier B, outage and resumed energy production on gasifier A and integration of all systems necessary for both to simultaneously generate electricity with syngas.

Syngas is created when the locally-mined lignite is heated at high temperatures in the plant’s gasifiers, converting the coal to gas. The syngas, which is used similarly to natural gas, will produce electricity through the plant’s combustion turbines.

The plant began producing syngas with its second gasifier in September.