South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., a subsidiary of SCANA Corp. (NYSE: SCG), filed a petition seeking approval to update the construction milestone and the capital cost schedule for two new reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina.
The updated filing was necessary as several project milestone dates previously approved by the state Public Service Commission have exceeded their allowable contingency time periods. The construction schedule reflected in the petition indicates a substantial completion date for Unit 2 of June 2019 and Unit 3 of June 2020 based upon information from the consortium of Westinghouse Electric and Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I, NYSE: CBI).
The petition includes incremental capital costs that total $698 million (SCE&G’s portion in 2007 dollars), of which $539 million are associated with delays and other contested costs. The project’s total cost is now estimated at approximately $5.2 billion (SCE&G’s portion in 2007 dollars) or $6.8 billion including escalation and allowance for funds used during construction. The construction and capital cost schedules are subject to ongoing negotiations with Westinghouse Electric and CB&I.
SCANA Chairman and CEO Kevin Marsh said 85 percent of the major equipment was received for Unit 2, and the containment vessel bottom heads for both units have been set. All three steel rings that make up the vertical walls of the Unit 2 containment vessel are either completed or near completion.
“However, we are not pleased with the delays in the construction schedule for out new nuclear plants,” Marsh said. “These delays and related cost increases are principally due to design and fabrication issues associated with the production of submodules used in construction of the units.”
Though the capital cost schedule includes higher costs than were originally approved, SCE&G says some elements of the costs have actually gone down, including lower inflation and interest rates, and an anticipated $1.2 billion in fuel cost reductions after production tax credits are applied.
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