Success! Kemper County Energy Facility Starts Gasifiers.


According to Mississippi Power, the Kemper County energy facility reached one of its most significant milestones to date by successfully performing the “first fire” and associated activities of the Kemper project’s gasifiers. The gasifiers, the centerpiece of the project, are designed to convert lignite coal to synthesis gas, or syngas, for use in power generation.

The burners for both of the project’s gasifiers functioned as predicted in their first test, completing another important step toward finishing the project, which is expected in the first half of 2016.

“The Kemper County energy facility will be capable of powering thousands of homes and businesses with electricity derived from an underutilized and affordable Mississippi resource,” said Mississippi Power President and CEO Ed Holland. “The full operation of Kemper will represent more than the final milestone for this project. I believe it will be a transformational moment in the history of energy production.”

“It’s like sticking a lighter out a moving car’s window, lighting it, and then keeping it lit,” said Joe Miller, Kemper startup manager, in describing the complexity of igniting the project’s startup pilot burners. “It is exciting to see more than 20 years of engineering and testing now taking shape at this first-of-its-kind facility.”

Mississippi Power said that another major milestone is expected to be achieved later this year with the production of syngas when lignite is added to the gasifier.

Kemper County energy facility’s innovative technology is designed to capture 65 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, which could be repurposed for use in enhanced oil recovery.

Approximately 2,500 workers continue to work on the plant and the project is scheduled to begin operation in 2016.

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