Running Kemper power plant may also be more expensive than predicted

Kemper PEPWR

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The construction of Mississippi Power Co.'s Kemper County power plant isn't the only thing that might be costly.

Documents filed recently by the company project that operation and maintenance costs will total $1 billion in its first five years. That's four times as much as the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. previously projected.

The amount of equipment, material and employees at the plant has increased sharply as the plant's total cost has ballooned to $6.9 billion. Mississippi Power says it will take more money to support that investment, a position that even Kemper opponents agree makes sense.

But opponents could argue before the Mississippi Public Service Commission that customers shouldn't pay for the increased costs for the plant, designed to burn gasified coal and capture carbon dioxide.

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