Staff: Mississippi Power offering ideas to settle Kemper

By  | 

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- The man in charge of negotiating a settlement to wind down Mississippi Power Co.'s coal-fueled power plant project in Kemper County says the company has already made proposals.

Public Utilities Staff Executive Director Virden Jones said Thursday that he believes the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. wants to settle on terms set by Mississippi's Public Service Commission. The staff and commission are separate agencies.

Commissioners Thursday formalized an order instructing Mississippi Power and staff to negotiate a settlement within 45 days. The three elected commissioners say that Kemper should run on natural gas and not gasified lignite coal, that rates should stay level or fall, and that customers shouldn't pay for the gasifier.

Southern could have to absorb another $3.4 billion in losses on the $7.5 billion plant, after already losing $3.1 billion.