Moody’s Investors Service placed Mississippi Power Company’s ratings on review for another downgrade after the company last week announced a ninth extension for placing the now $7 billion Kemper energy facility into service using lignite.
About $800 million of debt securities are affected by the possible downgrade, including Baa3 senior unsecured, Baa3 Issuer Rating, Ba2 preferred stock and VMIG-3 short-term pollution control revenue bond rating, Moody’s said in a press release Monday. The ratings of parent company, The Southern Company, are unchanged, the announcement said.
“The review of Mississippi Power’s ratings considers the declining competitiveness of the Kemper Integrated Gasification Combined Cycleplant as project costs have continued to rise, operating costs are increasing and natural gas prices remain low,” said Michael Haggarty, Moody’s associate managing director.
The cost of the project has ballooned from the $2.4 billion original estimate to more than $7 billion.