Mississippi Power sees progress at Kemper County plant

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Mississippi Power Co.’s Kemper County power plant reached another milestone this week when part of the plant was able to generate electricity off synthesis gas, or syngas, the utility company announced Wednesday.

The second of the plant’s two gasifiers is now creating electricity from lignite. Last month, the utility announced the first of the facility’s two gasifiers had generated electricity via a combination of synthesis gas, or syngas, and natural gas.

Before the project launches into full-scale commercial operation, the plant must generate electricity from syngas, produced from nearby lignite coal. Then operators must make sure the whole plant is running smoothly.

Mississippi Power has said it expects the plant to be placed in service by Dec. 31. A number of previous target dates for the plant going into service have been missed.

The plant, which is now running on natural gas, was supposed to go into full operation running off syngas by May 2014.