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Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 7:00am

Southern Co. Losing Another $450M On Miss. Plant

The Southern Co. is taking an additional $450 million in losses on an over-budget coal-fired power plant in Mississippi.

The utility announced the pre-tax write-off Tuesday ahead of disclosing its latest quarterly earnings.

Southern Co. subsidiary Mississippi Power has struggled to control costs while building Plant Ratcliffe, a coal-fired plant in Mississippi's Kemper County.

Mississippi Power CEO Ed Holland told The Associated Press that he can't guarantee there won't be more write-offs. But Holland said he's more confident about the company's building process.

The company earlier agreed it will only seek $2.4 billion from its customers for plant construction costs. Customers will also have to pay off as much as $1 billion in bonds.

Southern Co. previously took a $540 million loss on the plant.

Georgia utility regulators are watching the company’s approach to overruns at the Mississippi plant as they consider excess costs at Plant Vogtle near Augusta.

Georgia Power wants customers to shoulder $737 million in over-budget costs for the two new nuclear reactors, but regulators have hinted the company might have to eat some of that cost.