Interim Agreement Keeps Vogtle Expansion Going

Georgia Power and Westinghouse said they have reached an interim service agreement that would allow for the transition of the Plant Vogtle expansion project to management under Georgia Power. The deal allows for the timing of the transition of construction management from Westinghouse to Georgia Power to be decided by the bankruptcy proceedings. Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors on March 29.

Georgia Power Since then, Georgia Power has been spending about $50 million per month to keep the construction project going. The project involves about 6,000 workers and, according to Georgia Power, construction is about 43 percent completed.

The point in which the two new reactors would be completed, the point of which there is no turning back – is unclear. Georgia Power said it was in discussion with the other project owners – including Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities – on what options they have for the project. Under discussion, according to media reports, are the option of completing one of the two reactors, scraping the reactor projects and constructing a natural gas power plant or abandoning the project altogether.

In a statement issued Friday, Georgia Power said, “work will continue at the site and an orderly transition of project management will begin. As previously stated, the company will take all actions necessary to hold Westinghouse and Toshiba (Westinghouse's parent company) accountable for their financial obligations.”

The future of the project, however, rests precariously on the fate of Westinghouse and its ability to fulfill its financial obligations. Westinghouse owner, Toshiba, however, is also in a dire financial position, announcing Monday that it expected to lose $8.4 billion in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, which ends on March 31.

The figure is considered tentative, because the company's auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers Aarata LLC, have refused to approve the numbers. Toshiba and the auditors do not agree on the size of losses at Westinghouse, the World Nuclear Association reports.

The Vogtle expansion project is already more than three years late and about $3 billion over budget. The question now is how to move forward and the answers may be ready June 3, when the project management transition becomes clearer.

“Georgia Power will continue work to complete its full-scale schedule and cost-to-complete analysis and work with the project co-owners and the Georgia Public Service Commission to determine the best path forward for customers,” the company said in Friday's statement.

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  • Anonymous

    So to my understanding, the Project could still be scraped, there are many uncertainties and the personnel very worry.