Southern Company subsidiary Southern Company Services today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to jointly explore the deployment of clean coal power generation and carbon capture and storage technologies. Through the agreement, the companies will jointly explore opportunities for these and other technologies in the U.S., the Republic of Korea and in developing nations where the environmentally acceptable utilization of coal could strengthen energy security.
Among the technologies to be evaluated is Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIGTM), the 21st century coal technology at the center of subsidiary Mississippi Power’s Kemper County energy facility that Southern Company and KBR are jointly marketing to energy companies around the world. The Kemper facility is designed to generate electricity using low-rank coal with resulting carbon emissions better than a similarly sized natural gas plant. At least 65 percent of the plant’s carbon emissions are expected to be captured and repurposed through enhanced oil recovery.
“This agreement with Korea recognizes the important role of advanced, low-carbon generation technologies such as TRIGTM in providing for clean and efficient power generation,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “With a shared focus on delivering real energy solutions through innovation, Southern Company and KEPCO can help address the world’s energy challenges through this partnership. This effort complements Southern Company’s agreements with other international energy leaders who are similarly committed to developing 21st century coal technologies.”
The agreement also provides for the testing of KEPCO’s carbon capture technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Alabama, which is operated by Southern Company Services. Aligned with efforts by the U.S. and Korea to cost-effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the NCCC conducts research and development (R&D) to evaluate and advance emerging carbon capture technologies through integration with a coal-fired power plant and a pilot gasification facility.
“This MOU brings together two respected energy companies with the proven ability to deliver meaningful results through innovation,” said KEPCO CEO Hwan-Eik Cho. “KEPCO’s leadership in developing carbon capture, clean coal and other advanced energy technologies will be important to achieving Korea’s aggressive greenhouse gas emission targets. In partnership with Southern Company, we hope to find new and better ways to meet customers’ energy needs in Korea, in the U.S. and around the world.”
An industry leader in robust, proprietary R&D, Southern Company has managed more than $10 billion in R&D investments since the 1960s. In addition to operating the NCCC, the Southern Company system’s environmental R&D includes conducting the nation’s largest demonstration of carbon capture on a pulverized-coal power plant at subsidiary Alabama Power’s Plant Barry, as well as partnering with KBR to develop TRIGTM.
The MOU with KEPCO is the Southern Company system’s fifth such agreement with a leading international energy company. Last year Southern Company announced similar agreements with Shenhua Group Corporation Limited and China Huaneng Group – two of China’s largest energy companies – as well as with Huaneng Clean Energy Research Institute. Earlier this year, Southern Company Services entered into a research agreement with the Korea Institute of Energy Research, a Korean government-funded research institute which collaborates with KEPCO in the development of advanced green energy technologies.
In addition to these agreements, Southern Company continues to receive worldwide interest in TRIGTM from energy companies in regions with access to abundant supplies of low-rank coal.
About Southern Company
With more than 4.5 million customers and approximately 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are inventing America’s energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency, and creating new products and services for the benefit of customers. Southern Company has been named by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, listed by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity and designated a 2014 Top Employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network. The company earned the 2014 National Award of Nuclear Science and History from the National Atomic Museum Foundation for its leadership and commitment to nuclear development, and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune’s annual World’s Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.
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Cautionary Notes Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Certain information contained in this release 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 design and operation of the Kemper IGCC. Southern 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 Southern Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in the Form 10-K and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities, which include the development and construction of generating facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed, including changes in labor costs and productivity, adverse weather conditions, shortages and inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor, contractor or supplier delay, non-performance under construction or other agreements, operational readiness, including specialized operator training and required site safety programs, unforeseen engineering or design problems, start-up activities (including major equipment failure and system integration), and/or operational performance (including additional costs to satisfy any operational parameters ultimately adopted by the Mississippi PSC); the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any environmental performance standards and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; advances in technology; and the ability of counterparties of Mississippi Power to make payments as and when due and to perform as required. Southern Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.