News Center Stories

October 15, 2015

Southern Company subsidiary and Korea Electric Power Corporation sign MOU to jointly evaluate clean coal technology deployment worldwide

Southern Company subsidiary Southern Company Services today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to jointly explore the deployment of clean coal power generation and carbon capture and storage technologies. Through the agreement, the companies will jointly explore opportunities for these and other technologies in the U.S., the Republic of Korea and in developing nations where the environmentally acceptable utilization of coal could strengthen energy security.

Among the technologies to be evaluated is Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIGTM), the 21st century coal technology at the center of subsidiary Mississippi Power's Kemper County energy facility that Southern Company and KBR are jointly marketing to energy companies around the world. The Kemper facility is designed to generate electricity using low-rank coal with resulting carbon emissions better than a similarly sized natural gas plant. At least 65 percent of the plant's carbon emissions are expected to be captured and repurposed through enhanced oil recovery.

"This agreement with Korea recognizes the important role of advanced, low-carbon generation technologies such as TRIGTM in providing for clean and efficient power generation," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "With a shared focus on delivering real energy solutions through innovation, Southern Company and KEPCO can help address the world's energy challenges through this partnership. This effort complements Southern Company's agreements with other international energy leaders who are similarly committed to developing 21st century coal technologies."

The agreement also provides for the testing of KEPCO's carbon capture technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Alabama, which is operated by Southern Company Services. Aligned with efforts by the U.S. and Korea to cost-effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the NCCC conducts research and development (R&D) to evaluate and advance emerging carbon capture technologies through integration with a coal-fired power plant and a pilot gasification facility.

"This MOU brings together two respected energy companies with the proven ability to deliver meaningful results through innovation," said KEPCO CEO Hwan-Eik Cho. "KEPCO's leadership in developing carbon capture, clean coal and other advanced energy technologies will be important to achieving Korea's aggressive greenhouse gas emission targets. In partnership with Southern Company, we hope to find new and better ways to meet customers' energy needs in Korea, in the U.S. and around the world."

An industry leader in robust, proprietary R&D, Southern Company has managed nearly $2 billion in R&D investments, leading to the development and deployment of new, innovative technologies that will change the way America produces electricity. In addition to operating the NCCC, the Southern Company system's environmental R&D includes conducting the nation's largest demonstration of carbon capture on a pulverized-coal power plant at subsidiary Alabama Power's Plant Barry, as well as partnering with KBR to develop TRIGTM.

The MOU with KEPCO is the Southern Company system's fifth such agreement with a leading international energy company. Last year Southern Company announced similar agreements with Shenhua Group Corporation Limited and China Huaneng Group - two of China's largest energy companies - as well as with Huaneng Clean Energy Research Institute. Earlier this year, Southern Company Services entered into a research agreement with the Korea Institute of Energy Research, a Korean government-funded research institute which collaborates with KEPCO in the development of advanced green energy technologies.

In addition to these agreements, Southern Company continues to receive worldwide interest in TRIGTM from energy companies in regions with access to abundant supplies of low-rank coal.