Mississippi Power President and CEO Ed Holland appeared on Supertalk Mississippi with host Paul Gallo Friday morning to discuss the status of the Kemper project and the company’s record setting reliability in 2014.
This week the company filed its 2014 year-end report on the Kemper County energy facility with the Mississippi Public Service Commission which identified additional costs of $70 million in the fourth quarter.
“The cost increase will not impact our customers,” Holland said.
Construction of this first-of-its-kind integrated gasification combined cycle power plant is winding down- and Mississippi Power expects to have the Kemper plant in operation in the first half of 2016. Employees are focused on start-up testing of systems and equipment; work that requires precision and takes time.
“We will not compromise safety to bring the plant online sooner,” Holland said.
Safety is a core value at Mississippi Power and nowhere is that demonstrated more clearly everyday than with the Kemper project which has an exemplary safety record, close to seven times better than the national average for a construction project.
Gallo reminded his listeners of the positive economic impact the Kemper project has had in Mississippi with thousands of construction jobs. Kemper and the adjacent lignite mine will employ more than 500 full-time workers when commercial operation begins. Already more than 300 of those positions are filled.
“We have hundreds of folks who have come to Mississippi to be a part of something new and exciting,” Holland said.
During the interview, Holland also talked about the company’s number one job, producing and delivering power to customers.
“Kemper tends to overshadow things, but our employees deserve recognition because we have some of the best distribution and reliability.”
Mississippi Power had its best year ever in distribution reliability in 2014, setting company records in the low number of outages and the duration of outages. Mississippi Power’s 99.9 percent reliability rating is proof of the company’s dedication to providing continual service to customers.