By Editors of Power Engineering
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, a subsidiary of SCANA, announced it will cease construction of the two-unit expansion of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville.
The company, which will soon file a petition with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina seeking approval of its plan, made the decision after considering the additional cost to complete the units, uncertainty over tax credit availability, the nature of the company’s settlement with Toshiba.
SCANA, as well as co-owner South Carolina Public Service Authority, also known as Santee Cooper, concluded completing the two units would be prohibitively expensive.
The decision came after a comprehensive evaluation of the project following the bankruptcy filing of Westinghouse Electric, the project’s contractor. Westinghouse, a subsidiary of Toshiba, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year citing over $6 billion in debt.
Toshiba agreed to pay the two utilities $2.2 billion for the unfinished project.
The New York Times reported the utility found the reactor couldn’t come online before 2021 and could carry a total cost of $25 billion. The original budget was $11.5 billion.
The two utilities had considered completing only one of the two new units, though Santee Cooper determined it was unwilling to proceed with construction of either unit.
“We arrived at this very difficult but necessary decision following months of evaluating the project from all perspectives to determine the most prudent path forward,” Kevin Marsh, SCANA Chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “Many factors outside our control have changed since inception of this project. Chief among them, the bankruptcy of our primary construction contractor, Westinghouse, eliminated the benefits of the fixed-price contract to our customers, investors, and other stakeholders.”
“Ultimately, our project co-owner Santee Cooper’s decision to suspend construction made clear that proceeding on our own would not be economically feasible. Ceasing work on the project was our least desired option, but this is the right thing to do at this time.”
Construction will cease immediately, and efforts will shift to winding down and securing the property. Funds from the Toshiba settlement will be used to mitigate cost impacts to SCE&G customers.The expansion is now roughly one-third completed.