WTOK gets the take of business consultants Charles Grayson and Ashby Foote on the Kemper County coal plant in this clip from October 20, 2013.
Grayson says the plant was justified on faulty assumptions and thinks the experimental nature of the plant’s gasifier is a major problem both technically and financially. He points out how another coal gasification plant, built by Duke Energy, has faced “tremendous troubles even after the plant was completed.”
Foote blames inaccurate natural gas price forecasts as “one of the major assumptions they made that we feel took them down the wrong path.”
Some think a natural gas plant would have been less expensive than the high tech gasifier Kemper ended up adopting.
The plant is 80 percent finished but will not meet its targeted May 2014 completion date due to rainy weather.