In the filing, Mississippi Power management identifies a minimum of approximately $177 million in likely cost increases associated with the project, including $152 million in construction costs and $25 million in start-up costs. Any future changes will be fully evaluated in connection with the company’s quarterly reporting. The next quarterly reporting period for earnings is in late April 2014.
Adverse weather, unexpected high craft labor turnover and unanticipated problems with material installation are reasons for the projected cost increases.
“We’ve always said that unanticipated schedule extensions associated with start-up activities for this ‘first of a kind’ technology could impact the overall cost and schedule of the project,” said CEO Ed Holland. “We’re continuing to review the impact these issues will have on the construction schedule.” The facility is scheduled to be fully operational in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Mississippi Power customers will not pay a penny of cost above the limit agreed to by regulators and legislators.
“As always, Mississippi Power is committed to the success of this 21st-century coal project and providing stable energy prices for customers,” Holland said. “Our investment in integrated coal gasification and the Kemper project is further evidence of the company’s belief that this technology represents one method to achieve coal’s future in energy production and our commitment to a diverse fuel mix.”
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this article is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the projected cost and schedule for the completion of construction of the integrated coal gasification combined cycle facility in Kemper County, Mississippi (“Kemper IGCC”). Mississippi Power Company cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Mississippi Power Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Mississippi Power Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; available sources and costs of fuels; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations, including rate actions relating to fuel and other cost recovery mechanisms; ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities, which includes the development and construction of facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed, including those risks identified above that have caused and may continue to cause cost increases and/or schedule extensions; ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses and to satisfy any operational and environmental performance standards, including the requirements of tax credits and other incentives; advances in technology; actions related to cost recovery for the Kemper IGCC, including actions relating to proposed securitization, Mississippi Public Service Commission (“PSC”) approval of Mississippi Power Company’s proposed rate recovery plan, as ultimately amended, which includes the ability to complete the proposed sale of an interest in the Kemper IGCC to South Mississippi Electric Power Association, the ability to utilize bonus depreciation, which currently requires that the Kemper IGCC be placed in service in 2014, and satisfaction of requirements to utilize investment tax credits and grants; Mississippi PSC review of the prudence of Kemper IGCC costs; the outcome of any legal or regulatory proceedings regarding the Mississippi PSC’s issuance of the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Kemper IGCC, the settlement agreement between Mississippi Power and the Mississippi PSC, or the State of Mississippi legislation designed to enhance the Mississippi PSC’s authority to facilitate development and construction of baseload generation in the State of Mississippi; and the ability of counterparties of Mississippi Power Company to make payments as and when due and to perform as required. Mississippi Power Company expressly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking information.