Still trying to figure out exactly what Westinghouse’s bankruptcy is going to mean for the project, SCANA Corp. subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (SCE&G), announced in its first quarter progress report that the two-unit expansion of Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station is more than 64% complete.
Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy on March 29, citing financial setbacks resulting from the half-built AP1000 reactors at V.C. Summer and Southern Co.’s Plant Vogtle. Following the bankruptcy announcement, Westinghouse and SCE&G entered into an Interim Assessment Agreement (IAA) allowing construction to continue on the project while SCE&G mulled over its options.
The initial IAA was for a 30-day term, but on April 28, the IAA was extended through June 26, 2017. While under the IAA, SCE&G will work to determine if the project is worth pursuing. “SCE&G anticipates its evaluation of whether or not to complete one or both Units will be finalized during the second quarter of 2017. The evaluation will include assessment of the relative merits of completing both Units, cancelling or deferring both Units, or completing Unit 2 and cancelling or deferring Unit 3,” according to the May 5 progress report.
The report states that the project is currently 64.1 percent complete and that during the first quarter of 2017 “completion of the construction advanced by 3.4%.”
According to the report, the engineering work on the plant is 96% complete, and procurement is 88.2%. Construction, however, is only 34.3% complete and start-up is 8.6% complete
However, SCE&G appears concerned about the project timeline. “While recent schedule information from [Westinghouse Electric Co. (WEC)] indicates that the substantial completion dates of the Units remain within the 18-month contingency provided in the Order, these dates will be reevaluated in light of WEC’s historical inability to achieve forecasted productivity and work force efficiency levels and in light of WEC’s bankruptcy filing,” the report says.
Westinghouse has provided SCE&G with a revised estimate of the cost to complete the project. “That analysis indicates that the cost to complete the Units will be approximately $829 million more than the cost that WEC will be entitled to charge SCE&G under the [Engineering, Procurement, and Construction] Contract. SCE&G is evaluating this estimate and has not yet validated it,” the report says.
“The evaluation of the cost and schedule for completing the Units is on-going,” the report says. “Until it is completed, the prior cost schedules and substantial completion dates remain operative. The Company maintains a staff that monitors the work of its contractors and continues to closely monitor areas of concern related to the cost and schedule for the project. SCE&G continues to work diligently to verify the project is safely completed and that all costs are reasonable.”
—Abby L. Harvey is a POWER reporter.