Port Bienville has electric power to spare

August 1, 2014

One of the most valuable infrastructure assets Port Bienville Industrial Park has to offer its current and potential tenants is the availability of electric power. Guy Johnson, vice president of Hancock County Operations & Economic Development for Coast Electric Power Association, said having that excess capacity is "a very good thing. You don't have to build new transmission lines or improve the existing lines when you have capacity on the transmission grid. It saves everybody money." Currently Port Bienville has excess capability of 45 to 50 megawatts, enough to serve a large industry without any system improvements. "We have the ability to push more power through their grid in southern Hancock County than we're requiring at this moment," Johnson said. Port Bienville is within Coast Electric's service territory. The utility is part of South Mississippi Electric Power Association, a generating and transmission cooperative, that owns generating stations and transmission lines. "We buy all of our power through South Mississippi Electric but because the industrial park is located away from South Mississippi Electric's resources, the industrial park is tied into Mississippi Power's transmission grid," Johnson said. Johnson said Coast Electric ties into Mississippi Power's transmission system at the entrance to Port Bienville. The distribution substation serves industrial park tenants and also the area that includes the communities of Ansley and Pearlington and the Silver Slipper Casino. Coast Electric also services three large industries ­ DAK Americas, Calgon Carbon and SABIC ­ with their own dedicated substations at Port Bienville. Providing the service through the resources of the three utility groups is a cooperative effort, Johnson said, and all those involved want to see more new industry come to Port Bienville. "We are all on the same team here in Hancock County," Johnson said. "They want more industry as much as we do." South Mississippi Electric, based in Hattiesburg, is able to offer competitive rates because it uses different sources of fuel to generate electricity. "That helps to stabilize rates," he said. "When natural gas goes up, you burn more coal." South Mississippi Electric also owns 10 percent of Grand Gulf Nuclear and 15 percent of the new Kemper County plant. 

#Port Bienville Industrial Park, #Services at Port Bienville