Like the game of Whack-A-Mole, Mississippi Power knocks out one problem with the Kemper Project clean coal power plant only for another to appear as the utility tries to get the more than $7 billion plant operational.
A February report filed with the Mississippi Public Service Commission by independent monitor and engineering firm AECOM shows that problems continue to multiply at Kemper. The plant is designed to gasify lignite coal to fuel the facility’s electricity-generating turbines and remove byproducts such as carbon dioxide, sulfuric acid and anhydrous ammonia.
The issues, both new and ongoing, are the reason why the plant has blown through six months of commercial operation dates and is nearly three years behind schedule and more than $5 billion more expensive than when it was originally announced in December 2006. The utility says every month of delay costs it, not ratepayers, between $25 million and $35 million.