Southern Co. Agrees to Coal Research with Chinese Firm

Jackson, Miss.
Southern Co. has signed a deal with a state-owned Chinese coal and energy company to help develop coal technologies, based in part on the coal gasification and carbon capture technology that Southern subsidiary Mississippi Power Co. is deploying at the $5 billion Kemper County power plant.

The deal, signed April 8, calls for Atlanta-based Southern to work with Shenhua as well as universities and government agencies.

Southern spokesman Tim Leljedal said Tuesday the technology Southern uses at Kemper is "central" to the partnership.

The electric utility has a deal with Houston-based engineering firm KBR to market the technology.

In a 2013 settlement with the Mississippi Public Service Commission of lawsuits over the Kemper plant, Southern agreed to give Mississippi Power ratepayers 10 percent of after-tax licensing revenue from power plants.