The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) final week reportedly closed an investigation regarding prices and delays at Mississippi Power’s now-abandoned Kemper built-in gasification mixed cycle (IGCC) venture with out recommending an enforcement motion.
Mississippi Power on December 1 additionally reached an amended settlement settlement with key stakeholders on the remaining prices related to the $7.5 billion Kemper County Energy Facility. If permitted, the corporate stated the settlement would assist it transfer previous the exorbitantly pricey carbon-capturing gasifier venture it scrapped in June.
SEC Said to Close its Investigation
Southern Co., Mississippi Power’s father or mother firm, revealed in May 2016 that the SEC had begun a proper probe into the venture’s estimated prices, and the corporate’s schedule for the venture.
At the time, Southern Co. stated that whereas it was totally cooperating with the SEC, it believed the investigation was “targeted totally on intervals subsequent to 2010 and on accounting issues, disclosure controls and procedures, and inner controls over monetary reporting related to the Kemper IGCC.”
In a December 1 monetary submitting, Southern Co. stated that SEC employees had notified the corporate it has concluded its investigation and “is closing the investigation with out recommending an enforcement motion.”
The SEC declined to verify or deny the existence of the investigation, stressing that each one investigations it conducts are non-public to permit for the fullest improvement of an inquiry. It solely publicly broadcasts conclusion of an investigation if a violation has been discovered. Companies generally disclose SEC probes to traders within the spirit of transparency, the company informed POWER on December 5.
An Amended Agreement
Mississippi Power on December 1 additionally stated in a monetary submitting that it reached an amended settlement with the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff (MPUS)—a state company that represents utility clients together with state businesses and public utilities—oil merchandise producer Chevron Products Co., world chemical firm Chemours Co., and federal government businesses. Southern Co. stated it anticipates different events will file joinders in assist of the amended settlement.
The settlement amends a previous settlement proposed in August, revising the annual income requirement—which is critical to cowl the facility firm’s bills and have the chance to earn a good charge of return—from $126.four million to $112.6 million for prices associated to the Kemper pure gasoline facility. Under the amended settlement, retail buyer charges could be efficient in January 2018, mirror a discount of about $13.eight million yearly, and embrace no restoration for prices related to the gasifier portion of the Kemper facility at any future date.
Significantly, the settlement additionally proposes to change the 2010-awarded certificates of public comfort and necessity to restrict the ability to operations of the pure gasoline mixed cycle energy plant, which was accomplished in 2014.
The 582-MW Kemper County vitality facility was designed as an IGCC to transform regionally mined lignite to synthesis gasoline, utilizing novel TRIG expertise to seize as much as 65% of its carbon emissions. But owing to plenty of technical hurdles, the venture had been delayed almost three years. It was initially projected to be positioned into service in May 2014. Total prices, in the meantime, exceeded $7.5 billion, a determine that factored in mine, carbon dioxide pipeline, and different accounting prices.
On June 28, Mississippi Power introduced development of the almost full IGCC portion could be suspended instantly. The Southern Co. subsidiary then stated it could proceed working a mixed cycle gasoline turbine plant that was accomplished as a part of the venture three years in the past, pending the MPSC’s choice on future operations.
On August 21, Mississippi Power reached a settlement settlement with Denbury Resources—the corporate underneath contract to purchase all of the venture’s captured carbon—together with three advocacy teams.
The amended settlement reached on December 1…