Kemper coal plant structures imploded
Parts of the Kemper County power plant were imploded Saturday morning and the explosion could be heard as far away as the Neshoba County Fairgrounds, Arlington and even Decatur, according to social media reports.
The implosion was reported at about 7:45 a.m. Mississippi Power Spokesman Jeff Shepard said the whole ordeal took about two minutes.
“On Saturday, Mississippi Power safely continued the removal at the site of equipment no longer needed to serve our customers,” Shepard said. “The plant has been working on removing these parts of the plant for nearly one year and has completed 70,000-man hours of safe equipment removal.”
Shepard said that more equipment will be removed at a later date.
“The safety of the surrounding community and the employees at the site is our top priority,” Shepard said. “We appreciate the community’s patience as we continue this process.”
State Rep. Michael Ted Evans, who represents parts of Neshoba and Kemper counties, confirmed the implosion on social media.
“They imploded some of the structures at the power plant,” Evans said Saturday on Facebook.
Southern Company, based in Atlanta, is the parent company of Mississippi Power which owns the plant.
Shepard said that at least one third of the power needed to serve the company’s 23-county service area, comes from the plant. The remaining equipment at the plant will continue to provide energy to more than 190,000 customers.
Construction on the $7 billion facility began in 2010. Clean coal technology initially designed to run the plant suffered a setback in 2017 when efforts to start up the gasification portion of the plant were halted.
The plant was designed all along to run on natural gas as well.
The Kemper Project, also called the Kemper County Energy Facility or Plant Ratcliffe, is a natural gas-fired electrical generating facility near the Moscow community in rural southeastern Kemper County about 20 miles east of Philadelphia.