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Plant Vogtle nuclear power project oppressed by troubles

Time, money and taxes weigh on troubled SCANA nuclear project, Apr 28, 2017SCANA Corp.’s 30-day agreement with Westinghouse Electric Co. that allows work to continue at the $16 billion V.C. Summer nuclear project expires today. But SCANA executives say they are confident that they can get a 60-day extension before time runs out.

Meanwhile, work at the site continues to go more slowly than expected, adding to the chronic delays that have driven up the project’s price tag. And SCANA (NYSE:SCG) says it is watching efforts in Congress to extend production tax credits for nuclear plants. SCANA concedes that if they are not extended, it would make it difficult to continue with the project.

Questions about the troubled expansion at Summer — plagued by cost overruns, delays and now Westinghouse’s filing for Chapter 11 protection from creditors— dominated SCANA’s earnings call Thursday. And with only a few answers available now, the questions are likely to continue for much of the coming 60 days.

As Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 protection March 29, SCANA and Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) reached 30-day agreements with Westinghouse to keep construction work going at Summer and the Plant Vogtle nuclear project.

‘No impediments’

SCANA is using the time to determine whether it makes sense to take over construction management and try to complete the two nuclear reactors under construction, or abandon the project. During the review, SCANA is essentially paying all the contractors on the site — either directly or through disbursements to Westinghouse.

But SCANA officials did not expect to be able to complete the review by now. From the start, the company said it would need another 30 to 60 days.

Chief Operating Officer Steve Byrne expressed confidence that extension, for 60 days, is forthcoming.

“As of right now — and there are always a lot of last minute details to be taken care of — we don’t see any impediments … to having an agreement in place sometime by either later today or tomorrow,” he told analysts Thursday.

But no deal was announced yesterday, and the current agreement expires at midnight.


April 29, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

1 Comment »

  1. This is a simple case of a project looking good on paper but being a nightmare in reality. Vogtle is getting the same wake up call.

    To understand what you are dealing with, all you have to do is get Westinghouse to release the history of the China Sanmen Unit 1 project and the mountain of design changes untalented and that remain to be resolved. Very sad.

    Comment by Concerned GA Rstepayer | April 29, 2017 | Reply

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