Word started circulating Monday that Mississippi Power Co. had ended its relationship with KBR, a Texas-based engineering and construction design/build firm involved in the Kemper County coal plant.
That’s not the case, a KBR spokesperson told the Mississippi Business Journal Tuesday morning.
Marianne Gooch said KBR is winding down its involvement in the construction phase of the plant, but will still provide engineering and start-up services. The plant is scheduled to begin commercial operation in May 2014. Employees in KBR’s construction division will leave the job site by this Thursday, Aug. 9, Gooch said, but will have the opportunity to catch on with other construction companies MPC and its parent Southern Co. are using to build the $2.88 billion plant.
KBR owns a portion of the Transport Integrated Gasification technology that will be used at the Kemper facility.
The coal plant has been the subject of a legal challenge from the Sierra Club, which currently has the issue in Harrison County Chancery Court for a second time. The Mississippi Public Service Commission voted in late June not to take any action on rate increase requests associated with the plant until the litigation concludes. The Mississippi Supreme Court last week denied MPC’s request to institute interim rate increases while the appeals process moved forward.
A MPC spokesperson did not immediately return cell phone and email messages Tuesday morning.