Costs Rise by Another $30 Million at Kemper Plant

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Jackson, Miss.

Southern Co. says it will cost at least another $30 million to finish the power plant it's building in eastern Mississippi's Kemper County, pushing the total cost to nearly $5.6 billion.

The Atlanta-based parent of Mississippi Power Co. says the additional money will pay for material and labor during the plant's startup phase, including contract workers to help test equipment and systems.

Mississippi Power says it, and not its 186,000 customers from Meridian to the Gulf Coast, will pay the additional money. Customers are already paying 18 percent higher rates for Kemper.

The plant and associated lignite coal mine were originally supposed to cost $2.8 billion.

The utility is now on track to absorb $1.6 billion in cost overruns, as well as $133 million in federal tax credits it's foregoing.