DOE Officials: End of Year Earliest to Expect Final Vogtle Loan Guarantee Approval

Final approval of an $8.3 billion loan guarantee for the construction of two new reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia won't materialize until the end of the year, at the earliest, Department of Energy officials told House members Thursday.

In a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, loan guarantee program chief David Frantz said that none of the program's pending applications are officially scheduled to close this year, Dow Jones reported. While DOE does not set concrete deadlines for finalization of nuclear plant loan guarantees, another DOE official said late 2012 would be the soonest the Vogtle guarantee would be issued.

Southern Co. and its partners received conditional approval for the loan guarantee in 2010. Earlier, the Augusta Chronicle reported, the DOE extended a conditional commitment for the loan guarantee to the end of the year after it became apparent negotiations would not be completed as expected in June.

The guarantee will help finance the $14 billion project near Augusta, Ga., to build two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors adjacent the plant's existing units.

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