Japan’s J-Power Electric Power Development Company and Kansai Electric Power Company are the latest international utilities to express interest in the Kemper County energy facility.
Daisuke Matsushita and Yuji Yamamoto of J-Power and Akira Kawabe of Kansai Electric’s Substation Group, Power System Engineering Center, recently visited for a tour of the complex.
Tim Pinkston, Southern Company’s general manager of gasification technology, and Lee Youngblood, Kemper County energy facility communications manager, led the trio on an in-depth dive into Kemper’s unique technology, as well as a walking tour of the facility’s gasification island and acid gas removal areas.
These systems are designed to transform Mississippi lignite into a cleaner fuel for electric power generation. In the process, Kemper’s technology will turn what would normally be emissions into useful chemical products, including captured carbon dioxide that will be used by oil companies to extract more domestic energy from existing wells.
“This is yet another example of the international interest and international implications of this multi-faceted energy project,” Youngblood said. “Just in the past year to two years, we’ve hosted more than 40 national and international groups who’ve requested to see this facility, including energy leaders, public officials, business leaders and media representatives who are interested in Kemper’s unique lignite gasification technology, its carbon capture capability, or both.”
Just last month Southern Company and KBR, LLC — who jointly developed Kemper’s gasification technology — signed a letter of intent with South Korea’s Alps Energy geared toward deployment of Kemper’s gasification technology within that country’s Saemangeum Industry & Research Area.
This is the sixth international agreement signed between Southern Company and an international entity regarding the potential utilization of Southern and KBR’s patented TRIG gasification process.
“Although J-Power and Kansai’s visit is not to discuss any sort of agreement, we do feel it’s very important to accommodate these requests and build upon our international relationships,” Pinkston said. “Supplying clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy solutions is truly a global challenge. This project is capable of producing much cleaner energy from coal, the world’s most abundant fossil fuel, and that’s why the world’s energy leaders are watching the Kemper project very closely.”