Kemper-related mine expected to cut 75 jobs

Liberty Fuels Company, which runs Liberty Mine adjacent to Mississippi Power’s Kemper County energy facility, expects to lay off 75 employees at the mine in about two months. NACCO Industries, the head company that oversees Liberty Fuels Company’s parent North American Coal Co., announced the layoff in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this week. A notice was issued to the 75 employees on Aug. 4, the filing states. Under its contract with Mississippi Power, Liberty Fuels Company supplies the lignite coal meant to fuel the gasification portion at the Kemper County energy facility.

Auditor sics AG on GreenTech for $6.4M loan repayment failure

The state could be heading to court with a Tunica County electric car company for a failure to pay back taxpayers to the tune of $6.4 million in loans. In 2011, GreenTech Automotive Inc., located in Robinsonville, entered into an agreement with the Mississippi Development Authority, which granted a $3 million “Industry Incentive” loan to the company and a $2 million loan to Tunica County to secure land for GreenTech’s production facility. In return, the company promised to invest at least $60 million in the project, create 350 full-time jobs — each paying at least $35,000 — and maintain those jobs for at least 10 years. When the company failed to deliver as promised by the end of 2014, State Auditor Stacey Pickering demanded the company return the money with interest. Pickering on Monday announced that GreenTech had not yet responded to his office’s July 5 order for repayment from Charles Wang, president and CEO of GreenTech. Wang was given 30 days starting July 5 to pay back the state.

Mississippi Power customers dodge $2.8 billion bill for Kemper technology

Mississippi Power Co. customers are off the hook. Atlanta-based Southern Co. said Wednesday it will absorb $2.8 billion in costs related to the Kemper County energy facility’s lignite coal gasification project. Southern, the parent company of Mississippi Power, said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday that cost recovery from Mississippi Power customers for the $7.5 billion plant’s gasification technology “is no longer probable.” So the utility will absorb the cost of the gasification portions of the plant and its adjacent lignite coal mine.

Domestic violence victims utility waiver adopted

Domestic violence victims will soon be able to remove one of many obstacles that could prevent their transition into a new home away from abusers: coming up with utility deposits. The Mississippi Public Service Commission formally adopted a “domestic violence rule” establishing a utility deposit waiver for certified victims at its meeting Tuesday. The commission’s unanimous decision means that 30 days after the rule is filed with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office, companies such as Entergy Mississippi, Mississippi Power Co., Atmos Energy, CenterPoint Energy, electric-power associations and cooperatives can waive victims’ utility deposits for up to 60 days. “They still have to pay it after 60 days, but that’s to help these victims escape a dangerous situation,” said Brandon Presley, chairman of the Public Service Commission, after the meeting. These utility providers will first need to confirm that the applicant is a domestic violence victim.