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SCANA Corp. nuclear project facing further delays


Staff Report
colanews@scbiznews.com
Published Aug. 12, 2014

Completion of the $9.8 billion nuclear construction project in Jenkinsville could be delayed up to a year longer than last reported, SCANA Corp. said Monday.

The investor-owned energy provider, parent of Cayce-based S.C. Electric & Gas Co., said it was informed by a consortium of contractors building two 1,117-megawatt reactor units that “substantial completion” of one unit has been delayed until the end of 2018 or the first half of 2019, and that the other unit would be complete 12 months later.

“These expected substantial completion dates do not reflect all efforts that may be possible to mitigate delay, nor has SCE&G accepted this new schedule,” the company said.

The company added that contractors have not yet provided any estimate of how much the delay will cost.

“SCE&G plans to re-evaluate and reschedule its owners cost estimates and cash flow requirements in light of that new schedule when it is finalized,” SCANA added. Once the company reaches an agreement with the consortium, SCE&G plans to go to the commission later this year and seek permission to revise the construction schedule and revise the cost cap.

The project, which SCE&G is building at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station with its state-operated partner, Santee Cooper, could be as much as 2 1/2 to 3 years behind the original schedule.

In February 2009, the Public Service Commission South Carolina approved the initial order authorizing construction of two Westinghouse AP1000 reactor units. The order called for the first unit to be in commercial operation as early as April 2016 and the second to follow about a year later.

However in June of 2013, SCE&G informed state regulators that completion of the project had been pushed back 10 months by delays in the delivery and manufacturing of submodules from the Lake Charles, La., facility of Chicago Bridge & Iron, the project’s contractor.

At the time, SCE&G informed the commission that completion of the first of the two new reactor units would be delayed until late 2017 or the first quarter of 2018 and completion of the second unit would be similarly delayed.

However, those completion dates were within an 18-month window that the commission agreed to when it initially approved the project.

SCANA also has said that the submodule issues could add $200 million to the project’s costs. Who’ll pay for the delay — Chicago Bridge & Iron or SCE&G — hasn’t been determined.

SCE&G owns 55% of the project and plans to increase its share to 60%. Santee Cooper will hold the balance.

The two utilities jointly operate one reactor unit, which went into commercial service in 1984, at the Summer power plant.