South Mississippi Electric Association mulls stake in IGCC project

Gulfport, Miss., September 16, 2009 – South Mississippi Electric Power Association is exploring the acquisition of an interest in Mississippi Power’s proposed Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Project.

The companies are negotiating a combination of a joint ownership arrangement and a purchase power agreement that would provide South Mississippi Electric with up to 20 percent of the capacity and associated energy output from the plant.

Mississippi Power has proposed building an electric power plant in Kemper County, Miss. that will capture 65 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. The plant will use Mississippi lignite coal to fuel the technology.

Pending Mississippi Public Service Commission approval, construction would begin in 2010. The proposed generation station is a 582 MW power plant that would begin commercial operation in 2014. South Mississippi Electric will also need regulatory approval from the Rural Utilities Service.

Also known as gasification, IGCC is a process that converts coal into a synthesis gas that can generate electricity with fewer emissions than existing pulverized coal-fired power plants.

The plant will capture 65 percent of carbon dioxide emissions and the carbon dioxide will be used in the enhanced oil recovery industry. With carbon capture technology, the Kemper County IGCC facility will be equivalent to a new natural gas combined cycle generation resource with respect to carbon emissions.

Mississippi Power’s investment will be about $2.2 billion. About 260 permanent jobs, plus 1,000 jobs during peak construction, will be created.

South Mississippi Electric, a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Hattiesburg, provides wholesale power to its eleven member-owner electric power associations. The overall system delivers reliable, not-for-profit electric service to more than 400,000 homes and businesses in 56 of the state’s 82 counties.

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, provides retail and wholesale electric service to approximately 200,000 customers in 23 counties from the Gulf Coast to Meridian. The company owns or has significant ownership interests in six generating facilities with net generating capacity of 3,166 MW. Electricity is sent across 8,371 miles of transmission and distribution lines to retail customers principally in Gulfport, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Pascagoula, Columbia, Laurel, Waveland, Lucedale and Picayune.

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