SEC looking into cost, timeline issues for Kemper IGCC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is conducting a formal investigation of Southern (NYSE:SO) and Mississippi Power concerning the estimated costs and expected in-service date of the Kemper County coal gasification power plant.

Southern revealed the probe in its May 5 10-Q quarterly report with the SEC. Southern CEO Tom Fanning told financial analysts April 27 that he expects to start generating power from gasified coal this summer from the 582-MW Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) project in Mississippi.

“Southern Company and Mississippi Power believe the investigation is focused primarily on periods subsequent to 2010 and on accounting matters, disclosure controls and procedures, and internal controls over financial reporting associated with the Kemper IGCC,” according to the 10-Q filing.

“Southern Company and Mississippi Power are cooperating fully with the SEC,” the company said in the filing.

The project will gasify local Mississippi lignite coal to generate electricity and also capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The combined-cycle natural gas portion of the plant is already operational. In 2015 the plant proved its ability to generate electricity with natural gas.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.