Governor Barbour

Dec. 16, 2010

Mississippi Power Breaks Ground on $2.4 billion energy project

Gov. Haley Barbour, officials from Mississippi Power and state and local leaders gathered today to break ground on Mississippi Power’s new Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant in Kemper County, Miss. The 582-megawatt, clean coal technology electric power plant represents an investment of $2.4 billion by Mississippi Power and will create 260 permanent jobs and an additional 1,000 jobs during peak construction.

"Cleaner, more affordable energy is a goal shared around the world, and today, we are closer to achieving that goal as we break ground on this new clean coal technology plant," Gov. Barbour said. "The state of Mississippi is pleased to join Mississippi Power in making this state-of-the-art plant a reality. This facility will give the state a greater level of energy independence, and it positions Mississippi among the leaders in clean coal technology as we strive for greater energy independence for the nation."

IGCC is the state-of-the-art process through which the plant will operate. The process converts coal or lignite into a synthesis gas that can generate electricity with fewer emissions than traditional pulverized coal power plants, as the emission controls are built directly into the IGCC process. Mississippi lignite is expected to provide decades of low-cost fuel and will enable the company to avoid unexpected price fluctuations associated with uncontrollable fuel markets.

"The Kemper County IGCC plant will put to work a four billion ton reserve of lignite, an underutilized
resource in Mississippi," said Ed Day, president and chief executive officer of Mississippi Power. "Mississippi lignite is the lowest cost fuel source available, and its price stability is the key to what makes the project the best option to serve our customers’ growing energy demands."

Once fully operational in 2014, the new plant will capture 65 percent of carbon dioxide, comparable to natural gas combined cycle plants that are similar in size.

"Today is an exciting day for the state of Mississippi, as we break ground on Mississippi Power's new IGCC plant," said Gray Swoope, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA). "This plant will be one of the first in the world to utilize this cutting-edge technology, and I am thrilled that this new facility will be creating new jobs for Mississippians while helping to bring us closer to securing long-term, reliable, low-cost energy that will attract further business investment to the state."

MDA worked closely with company and local officials to help facilitate the project and provided guidance on available tax incentives, as well as a GO Zone bond allocation, to the company to assist with the project.

Mississippi Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, serves more than 193,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties.  To learn more, please visit the company's website at