Kemper Plant Overruns Drag Down Southern Co. Stock

Jackson, Miss.

Troubles at the Kemper County power plant that Mississippi Power Co. is building in Kemper County are so great that they're dragging down the stock of parent Southern Co.

Company stock closed up Monday, but remains below where it was when Southern disclosed another $196 million in overruns from higher construction costs and project delays.

Mississippi Power says it will pay the additional money, not its 186,000 customers from Meridian to the Gulf Coast.

However, the company says it also loses $120 million to $150 million in tax benefits by not completing the complex this year.

Mississippi Power says it may seek rate changes to recover that money.

Monday, Swiss investment bank UBS cut Southern's stock to a "sell" rating, citing Kemper.

The coal-fueled plant is now projected to cost $5.5 billion.