Southern Co. units to take over at Vogtle in July


Georgia Power and Southern Company’s nuclear arm said they expect to take over formal management of the Plant Vogtle nuclear project in late July after a key contractor ditches its contract with the Atlanta utilities in bankruptcy court.

Under a recently completed new agreement with Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear, Westinghouse Electric will continue to provide engineering and other support to the troubled project.

The Plant Vogtle expansion, to add two new reactors at the site near Augusta, is already at least $3 billion over budget and well over three years behind schedule. Disruptions from the Westinghouse’s late-March bankruptcy filing are expected to add more costs and delays.

Meanwhile, Georgia Power said on Wednesday that it has extended a temporary contract with Westinghouse to continue work on the project until July 20, while Westinghouse seeks the bankruptcy court’s approval to reject the old contract.

The company also said it expects to receive a $300 million payment in October from Toshiba Corp., Westinghouse’s parent company, as the first installment toward making good on almost $3.7 billion in earlier financial guarantees it promised on the Vogtle project.

Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy protection largely due to losses on the Vogtle project and a similar one in South Carolina. The bankruptcy has thrown both projects’ viability into question.

The losses have been a body blow to Tokyo-based Toshiba, which has warned investors in filings that it may not be able to continue as a going concern due to heavy losses at its Westinghouse unit.

That, in turn, has increased worries that Toshiba might not be about to keep up with payments on the $3.7 billion guarantee, which covers earlier overruns.

Georgia Power and its partners, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG and the city of Dalton, are expected to complete an analysis in August of future options for the project, including continuing construction, converting the expansion to natural gas plants or shutting it down.

In a hearing Thursday, a Georgia Public Service Commission official and an independent construction monitor said the Vogtle project fell further behind last year.

But they testified that they also saw signs that the work pace has picked up since Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear increased their oversight at Plant Vogtle after Westinghouse’s bankruptcy.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Ga. woman sues former employer; says she was fired for menstrual leaks
Ga. woman sues former employer; says she was fired for menstrual leaks

A woman in Georgia is suing her former employer after she was fired, allegedly for two period leaks that occurred as she was going through pre-menopause. Alicia Coleman worked for almost a decade as a 911 call taker at the Bobby Dodd Institute in Fort Benning. The center helps people with disabilities. According to the American Civil Liberties...
Long waits mar new Uber, Lyft pickup plan at Hartsfield-Jackson
Long waits mar new Uber, Lyft pickup plan at Hartsfield-Jackson

The Atlanta airport’s new ride-share pickup location drew complaints from both drivers and passengers after long waits and traffic backups Thursday, when many fliers return from business trips. During the peak Thursday night period, some passengers said they waited as long as 40 minutes or more for ride-share drivers to reach them after being...
Total solar eclipse 2017 in Georgia: What’s the cost to business?
Total solar eclipse 2017 in Georgia: What’s the cost to business?

Turns out there is one way to look at an eclipse without harming your eyes: through the lens of economics. Sure, it’s not romantic and not inspiring and not exactly scientific either – even if they do call economics, “the dismal science.” And sure, The Great American Eclipse – surely is a spectacular moment that demands...
KPMG and Atlanta auditor pay $6 million-plus to settle SEC charges
KPMG and Atlanta auditor pay $6 million-plus to settle SEC charges

Accounting firm KPMG LLP and one of its Atlanta-based partners agreed to pay more than $6 million in penalties to settle allegations that a flawed audit allowed a Tennessee oil company to defraud investors. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta office, which investigated the case, said KPMG’s audit failed to catch assets...
Georgia jobless rate ticks down despite weak hiring
Georgia jobless rate ticks down despite weak hiring

The Georgia unemployment rate dipped in July, but so did hiring as the economy continued several months of stop-and-go. After a very strong June, the state’s economy lost 14,500 jobs last month. But the jobless rate, calculated from a different survey, edged down from 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent, the state Labor Department said Thursday. The unemployment...
More Stories