CB&I working to resolve Vogtle dispute with Southern by year end

International engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI) said July 30 that it is working to resolve certain disputes with Southern (NYSE:SO) surrounding work at the Vogtle 3 and 4 nuclear units in Georgia.

“All parties are working in good faith,” and hopeful that the dispute can be resolved by the end of the year, CB&I President and CEO Philip Asherman said during a second quarter earnings call on July 30.

Both Southern and its vendors hope to get the dispute settled without turning to the courts, the CB&I official said. The dispute has been linked to what party bears responsibility for various delays and work changes at the nation’s first new nuclear plant in decades.

Asherman said the contract is clear on “who is responsible for what.” The CB&I went on to say that “We are hoping to get this done by the end of the year.”

The dispute is something that Texas-based CB&I inherited via its merger with the Louisiana-based Shaw Group several months ago.

During its July 30 quarterly earnings call, CB&I officials said nuclear plant construction work is going very well at both the Vogtle units and V.C. Summer Units 2 and 3. The new Summer units are being led by a SCANA (NYSE:SCG) subsidiary in South Carolina.

As for the Shaw Group merger, “the lines between these companies have faded” quicker than expected, Asherman said.

On other topics, Asherman said the company is well-positioned to capitalize on potential air environmental emissions reduction work at coal-fired plants in light of President Obama’s plan to slash carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

CBI officials also said they were optimistic about being able to resolve issues with the federal government surrounding development of a mixed-oxide nuclear fuel facility in South Carolina.

The CBI CEO also said the company is fortunate to hire former Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) executive Jeff Lyash to run CBI’s power group.

 CBI reported net income for the second quarter of $106m, or $0.98 per diluted share, including the after tax impact of acquisition-related costs of $6.3m, or $0.06 per diluted share. Revenue for the second quarter was $2.9bn with new awards of $2.5bn, resulting in a backlog of $24.5bn.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.