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Completion of the power plant in Kemper County was more than three years behind schedule.

Power co-op gets bond rating upgrade after exiting Kemper deal

Cooperative Energy and its 11 co-op members will see lower debt costs on $35.4 million bond

 

By TED CARTER / Hattiesburg Business Today

Bailing out of its 15 percent ownership stake in Mississippi Power’s Kemper gasification plant has helped Hattiesburg-based Cooperative Energy gain a ratings upgrade on a $35.4 million bond issue.

The electric power co-op, which changed its name to Cooperative Energy from South Mississippi Electric Power Association in November, received a ratings upgrade from A- to A for its 2009 2009A Mississippi Business Finance Corporation Gulf Opportunity Zone Bonds.

“This rating upgrade reflects the success of our strategy to move from purchased power to owned generation resources, and from coal to natural gas and renewable energy,” said Cooperative Energy President/CEO Jim Compton in a press release.  “The result for our members is lower borrowing costs and more favorable rates.”

An “A” rating from Fitch designates the bond issue as “near premium quality.”

» READ complete story here at the Hattiesburg Business Today

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