DEKALB – Southern Company, Mississippi Power Co. and Southern Generating Technologies signed a formal letter of intent Thursday to license the technology used at the Kemper County energy facility to a South Korean energy company.
"Today is a very special day," Mississippi Power Co. CEO Ed Holland said at a press conference announcing the agreement, which will allow Alps Energy to use the Kemper coal gasification process. "This is a demonstration of our strong commitment at Kemper to sharing this technology, not just with the United States, but with the world. This is a way forward for coal as an energy source. It's a proud day and an exciting day for us."
"We are very pleased to be part of this announcement," Kwang Ouk Bang, the chairman of Alps Energy, said through a translator.
Southern Company and KBR have proprietary ownership of the Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIG™) process, which involves converting low grade coal into gas, which is then burned to provide electricity, Holland said.
The process was developed over the last two decades at a research facility in Wilsonville, Ala., he said.
The agreement comes after Southern Company subsidiary, Southern Company Services, and Korea Electric Power Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding Oct. 15 to jointly explore the deployment of clean coal power generation and carbon capture and storage technologies.
That agreement was the fifth agreement with a foreign energy company interested in the Kemper technology, according to Mississippi Power.
"We are marketing the technology across the world with KBR," Holland said.
Last year, Southern Company announced research partnerships with some of China’s largest energy companies, such as the Shenhua Group Corp. and China Huaneng Group.