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Southern decides against federal loan for Kemper coal plant

KEMPER COUNTY — The Southern Co. has withdrawn plans to seek a federal loan guarantee for the power plant its subsidiary Mississippi Power Co. is building in Kemper County.

A spokesman for Atlanta-based Southern says Mississippi Power can borrow money elsewhere at a lower rate than available under the loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, cutting the costs of the plant.

The company had applied for up to $1.5 billion in bonding authority to help finance the plant, whose costs are approaching $3.3 billion. Spokesman Tim Leljedal says the withdrawal is not related to recent actions taken by Mississippi to raise rates for the plant.

Southern says it’s still pursuing up to $3.4 billion in loan guarantees for the two additional nuclear reactors it’s building at Plant Vogtle near Augusta, Ga.

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