Projects Database

Kemper County Energy Facility


Capture and Transport: Mississippi Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company. 

CO2 Offtaker: Denbury Resources

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)


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)


Facilities description

The Kemper County energy facility is presently nearing completion of construction and commissioning activities and is due to become operational early in 2017. The Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) project is located in Southwestern Kemper County approximately 32 km / 20 miles north of the town of Meridian, Mississippi. 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 synthesis 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 has operated successfully on a pilot scale for years, TRIGTM is now being deployed for the first time at commercial scale. At full capacity, the gasifiers would convert approximately 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 65 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 Generators (HRSG). The electricity generated will feed into the Mississippi power grid. This is the first base-load power plant built by Mississippi Power in almost 40 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 between US$50-100 million in revenues annually, revenues that will help reduce costs to Mississippi Power customers.

Mississippi Power has built a 98 kilometre / 61 mile, 16-inch / 40cm diameter COpipeline from the plant to connect with an existing CO2 pipeline system near Heidelberg, Mississippi. Denbury Resources has contracted to offtake the plant's CO2 for enhanced oil recovery. The CO2 sourced from the plant will help replace a source of naturally occurring CO2 found in nearby Jackson Dome. 

The development is supported by approximately US$400 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI). 

Mississippi Power began construction of the IGCC facility in the latter part of 2010. The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved the plant subject to a cap on total costs of US$2.88 billion, excluding the cost of the mine, the CO2 pipeline, financing costs and other cost cap exceptions. 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. All plant costs above the cost cap have been absorbed by Southern Company and MIssissippi Power, and are not subject to recovery from Mississippi Power customers. While the plant requires sizable capital investment before commercial operation, low-cost lignite is expected to keep operating costs very competitive over its approximate 40-year life. 

Latitude: 32.6768

Longitude: -88.7532

Key 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 development is cancelled due to regulation uncertainties.

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

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.

October 2010: Construction commences.

March 2011: Denbury contracts to purchase CO2 captured from the Kemper County energy facility

August 2014: Began combined cycle operation using natural gas

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

December 2015: Mississippi Power begins gasifier testing

July 2016: First coal feed to gasifier; the Kemper facility's gasifier began producing its first syngas


Project data is current as at 20/06/2017