SCANA discusses delay in V.C. Summer construction

SCANA (NYSE:SCG) subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas noted Aug. 1 that there will be a delay in the planned commercial operation date for the first of the two nuclear units being built at the V.C. Summer station.

The delay was first revealed by the company during a June analysts call.

The revised schedule now envisions Unit 2 going into operation in the fourth quarter of 2017 or the first quarter of 2018. The previous in-service date listed for Unit 2 was March 2017.

“While we do not have a specific in-service date, we are confident this new range for Unit 2 is within the 18-month PSC [South Carolina Public Service Commission] allowed construction contingency,” SCANA said in its Aug. 1 quarterly earnings report.

The utility will be filing an update with the South Carolina PSC on Aug. 14.

The delay is connected with delivery of “submodules” from the lead vendor, Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI). CB&I merged with the Shaw Group several months ago. The submodules are being shipped form CB&I’s facility in Lake Charles, La.

SCANA officials indicated that the delay could potentially have a $200m impact on the cost of the multi-billion-dollar project.

 Unit 3 is expected to be similarly delayed. Until recently Units 2 and 3, each listed with a capacity of 1,100 MW, were expected to be deployed by the end of 2018.

Aside from the delay, work at Summer is going well, SCANA said. It reported that the placement of the containment vessel bottom head is well underway.

 

SCE&G is looking to control base rate requests while the nuclear units are under construction.

The utility is delaying certain work, such as moving planned outages at some coal power plants from spring until fall of 2013.  

“We are pleased with the second quarter results,” said Executive Vice President and CFO Jimmy Addison. The results were buoyed by an improving economy and new manufacturing in South Carolina.

“Year to date, margins were higher driven by electric base rate increases and customer growth, as well as a return to normal weather in Georgia during the first quarter of 2013. Higher expenses related to our capital program, specifically depreciation, property taxes, interest, and dilution somewhat offset these increases.” Addison said.

Like Southern (NYSE:SO), SCANA said its service areas saw far more rainfall than normal in the first half of 2013.

SCANA announced earnings for 2Q13 of $85m, or basic earnings per share of 60 cents, compared to $72m, or basic earnings per share of 55 cents, for 2Q12.

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.