Cost of Summer AP1000s increases

03 October 2014

Having said that construction of two AP1000 units at the VC Summer nuclear power plant in South Carolina faces a delay of at least one year, the consortium building the reactors now expects the units to cost an additional $1.2 billion.

Summer construction site aerial - May 2014 - 460 (SCEG)
An aerial photo of the Summer construction site, taken in May 2014 (Image: SCE&G)

In August, Scana Corporation - the parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) which holds a 55% stake in the project - said that it had been informed by Westinghouse and CB&I that completion of the units would be delayed. The "substantial completion" of unit 2 is now expected in late 2018 or the first half of 2019, while that of unit 3 may be about 12 months later. The delay was attributed to the fabrication and delivery of structural modules from CB&I's facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Scana announced on 2 October that the consortium has now "provided preliminary cost estimates principally related to these delays for non-firm and non-fixed scopes of work to achieve the late 2018 substantial completion date."

Westinghouse/CB&I expect the new AP1000 units to cost an additional $1.2 billion. Scana noted this figure is presented in 2007 dollars and "would be subject to escalation." SCE&G's share of this preliminary estimate is some $660 million, while Santee Cooper - the holder of the remaining 45% in the project - would be responsible for about $540 million. The cost of the units was originally put at $9.8 billion in 2008.

Scana said that the cost overrun figure "also excludes any owner's cost amounts associated with the delays, amounts that could be significant. Furthermore, this figure does not reflect consideration of the liquidated damages provisions of the engineering, procurement and construction contract which would partly mitigate any such delay related costs."

"These expected substantial completion dates do not reflect all efforts possible to mitigate delay, nor has SCE&G accepted this new schedule," Scana said. "Neither SCE&G nor Santee Cooper has accepted financial responsibility for any project cost impact associated with these delays."

SCE&G and Santee Cooper are reviewing the preliminary schedule and cost estimates presented by Westinghouse/CB&I. Scana said, "It is anticipated that further study, evaluation and negotiations will occur." SCE&G had earlier said it hoped to reach agreement by the end of this year. However, Scana has now said, it cannot predict when the revised schedule and cost estimate will be finalized.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News