The decision to build a lignite coal plant in Kemper County has been met with both support and criticism from members of the public. Mississippi Power's President and CEO, Ed Day, sat down with Newscenter 11's John Johnson on this week's edition of On The Record to assure citizens the facility will be good for county and state.
"First of all, I'd say it's a very exciting time for this area of the state... it's a very exciting time for the state and the Mississippi Power Company as well... this is going to be a fantastic project... the merit to this project is going to impact the area for many years... 40, 50 years to come... it's just going to be fantastic," Day enthuses.
He also points out the project is on schedule and within its budget.
"We have secured over fifty percent of the confirmed cost for the project... major equipment... a lot of the materials we have... we think we hit the market just right as far as commodities and how we predicted that."
Day says more than two hundred million dollars of the money spent so far has gone towards Mississippi businesses for supplies and other essentials for construction. In fact, some of those businesses are located right here in Meridian. The best news is the amount of jobs the construction of the plant has created and the fact that even more jobs will be created.
"Right now, we have over four hundred people on site... and over two hundred of those are from Mississippi... right around seventy of those are from Kemper County," he points out.
Once fall rolls around, an additional two hundred workers will be needed to help with construction. By the time the facility is complete in about three years, roughly a thousand workers will have been employed by the project. Once the plant is open, it's expected to provide 260 full-time positions.