Kemper County Energy Facility


Capture and Transport: Mississippi Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company. The South Mississippi Electric Power Association has agreed to purchase 15 per cent of the facility.

Storage: Denbury Resources and Treetop Midstream Services, an affiliate of Tellus Operating Group

LOCATION: Mississippi, United States

COcapture source: New build integrated gasification combine cycle (IGCC) power plant located in Kemper County, Mississippi

COstorage site: Mississippi oil fields, Mississippi

INDUSTRY (FEEDSTOCK): Power generation (lignite / brown coal)


CO2 CAPTURE CAPACITY VOLUME: 3 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa)

CAPTURE TYPE: Pre-combustion (gasification)

CAPTURE METHOD: Absorption physical solvent-based process (SelexolTM)



PRIMARY STORAGE OPTION: Enhanced oil recovery


TRANSPORTATION TYPE: Pipeline (onshore to onshore)



Project description

The Kemper County Energy Facility is presently nearing completion of construction and commissioning activities and is due to become operational in 2016. The Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) project is located on a 1,650-acre site in Southwestern Kemper County approximately 32 km / 20 miles north of the town of Meridian. The Liberty Fuels mine that will supply lignite coal to the Project is situated adjacent to the facility.

The IGCC plant consists of two major systems: lignite gasification (including CO2 capture) and combined-cycle power generation.

  • The gasification systems consist primarily of lignite handling, gasification and synthetic gas (syngas) processing and clean-up. A key element of the gasification system is two commercial-scale gasifiers, which will use Transport Integrated Gasification or TRIGTM technology. TRIGTM is a coal gasification process that can utilise low rank coals, including lignite, which was developed jointly by Southern Company and KBR in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). After a 15 year plus development effort at the Power Systems Development Facility (PSDF) in Alabama (now the National Carbon Capture Center) where the technology operated successfully for over 20,000 hours at pilot scale, TRIGTM is now being deployed for the first time at commercial scale. At full capacity, the gasifiers would convert an average of 12,500 tonnes per day (around 4.5 million tonnes per year) of lignite to produce syngas.

The facility also includes a carbon capture system using a physical solvent-process (SelexolTM) sufficient to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 67 per cent by removing carbon from the syngas during the gasification process. This is equivalent to the capture of approximately three Mtpa of CO2.

  • After the syngas leaves the gasifiers it is cleaned of sulphur, mercury, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions and used as fuel for the combined–cycle power generating units. The two combustion turbines and steam turbine will generate a peak of 582 MW (net) of electricity when duct firing natural gas into the Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG). The electricity generated will feed into the Mississippi power grid. This is the first base-load power plant built by Mississippi Power in 30 years.

The facility will also produce around 135,000 tonnes per year of sulphuric acid and approximately 20,000 tonnes of ammonia per year. Mississippi Power estimates that sales of these products and COfor EOR could generate US$50 million or more in revenues for the Project.

Mississippi Power has built a 98 km / 61 mile, 14 inch / 36 cm diameter COpipeline from the plant to connect with an existing CO2 pipeline system near Heidelberg, Mississippi. Denbury Resources has contracted for the majority (70 per cent) of the CO2 at around 2 Mtpa for use at its Heidelberg field where it will displace COcurrently sourced from Jackson Dome (a natural CO2 reservoir). Carbon dioxide not piped to Heidelberg will be sent to an oil field in the vicinity West King, using a pipeline collocated with the pipeline to Heidelberg for 87 km / 54 miles before turning to connect with the oil field.

The Project has secured several Federal, state and local incentives, including US$270 million grant from the U.S. DOE Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI); ad valorem tax exemption on the plant’s lignite gasification equipment and investment tax credits under Section 48A (electric power tax credits). However, the investment tax credits can only be utilised if the plant is in operation by the end of 2014. Over the life of the project, it is estimated that the cost savings associated with the various incentives to be over US$1 billion.

Mississippi Power began construction of the IGCC facility in December 2010 and the initial cost estimate was US$2.4 billion (net incentives). The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved the plant subject to a cap on total costs of US$2.88 billion. The project has since experienced increases in the cost estimate due to a number of factors, including the facility being a first-of-a-kind plant and a re-scoping and sizing of the CO2 capture facilities which increased piping, materials and labor costs. While the plant requires sizable capital investment before commercial operation, low-cost lignite (around US$1.25 - US$1.50 per MMBtu) is expected to keep operating costs very competitive over its 40-year life. 

Latitude: 32.6768

Longitude: -88.7532

Key project milestones

October 2004: U.S. DOE awards funding to Southern Company Services amongst others to develop a 285 MW coal-based gasification plant near Orlando, Florida. In November 2007 this project is cancelled due to regulation uncertainties.

May 2008: DOE grants approval to relocate the project to Kemper County, to which DOE would contribute US$270 million as a federal cost-share

May 2009: Mississippi Power receives notification that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had allocated US$133 million of Internal Revenue Code 48A tax credits (Phase I). The utilisation of Phase 1 credits is dependent on meeting of IRS certification requirements.

March 2010: Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issues final Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) air permit for the plant

June 2010: The Mississippi Public Service Commission certifies the Project

June 2010: Lignite contract signed and Liberty Fuels Mine development commences

August 2010: US DOE Record of Decision to provide, through a cooperative agreement with Southern Company Services, US$270 million in cost-shared funding under DOE’s CCPI for the Project.

September 2010: Construction commences.

March 2011: Denbury contracts to purchase 70 per cent of the CO2 captured from the Kemper County Energy Facility

April 2011: Mississippi Power receives notification that the IRS had allocated US$279 million of Internal Revenue Code 48A tax credits (Phase II). The utilisation of Phase II credits is dependent on meeting of IRS certification requirements.

May 2011: Treetop Midstream Services, an affiliate of Tellus Operating Group, contracts to purchase 30 per cent of the CO2 captured from the Kemper County Energy Facility

August 2013: Combustion turbine startup

October 2014: Southern Company announces start-up is expected in the first half of 2016. 

March 2015: Mississippi Power announces that the Kemper County Energy Facility reached a significant milestone when it successfully performed a 'first fire' and associated activities of the project's gasifiers.

Project data is current as at 11/02/2016