Meridian Star

March 16, 2013

Setting the standard

Kemper County highlights advances

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     The face of Kemper County is changing rapidly with the continued construction of the Mississippi Power Lignite Coal Plant on Highway 493 but during a media tour Friday, Craig Hitt, executive director for the Kemper County Economic Development Authority, wanted to show invited guests and county leaders there was more to Kemper County.

    "This is an opportunity for us to give everyone a better understanding of what we are doing in Kemper County," Hitt said.

    The lignite plant wasn't the first stop of the tour.

    Dan Yates, who is the construction site manager for the massive plant, said this facility will set the standard in producing and providing clean power to Mississippi Power customers.

    "We are going to great lengths to ensure this process does not harm the environment in any way," said Yates. "We pride ourselves on being ecologically friendly."

    At this point there are 3,500 workers at the plant. Add to that the number of other officials and supervisors and that mark rises to about 4,000 personnel on site on any given day. Yates said there are 68 cranes at work on various areas of the superstructure and the surrounding area.

    He said there are still about 12.5 million feet of electrical cable that has to be run throughout the facility.

    "We are busy now with installing the piping and electrical aspects of the plant," Yates said. "We are testing some electrical systems now and will continue to do so all year as each system comes on line."

    Other stops on the daylong tour included industrial property for Kemper County, East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, the Tennessee Valley Authority Generation Plant site, Weyerhaeuser property, and other properties with promising economic development futures.