Santee Cooper May Sell Its Share Of Toshiba Settlement

Santee Cooper, owner of 45 percent of the canceled two-reactor expansion project at the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant in Jenkinsville, S.C., said it was considering sale of its portion of a settlement with Toshiba Corporation, the Japanese conglomerate that owns Westinghouse Electric Company.

V.C. SummerWestinghouse, which declared bankruptcy on March 29 this year, is the designer of the AP1000 reactors under construction at the plant. After bankruptcy was declared, Santee Cooper and SCANA Corporation, the majority owner of the expansion project, made a deal with Toshiba to settle claims against the contract with Westinghouse. Toshiba had previously agreed to pay for various cost overruns at the V.C. Summer expansion project, which was canceled on July 31 in part due to Westinghouse's bankruptcy.

Westinghouse was also the lead contractor for the expansion project.

SCANA and Santee Cooper had negotiated a $2.2 billion settlement with Toshiba, which is suffering from several years of steep losses, much of that attributed to losses at Westinghouse. Santee Cooper is entitled to 45 percent of that $2.2 billion, which is to be paid over a five-year stretch with the first installment of $150 million due in October.

However, it has been long assumed that holding debt in Toshiba's name is a risky option, given Toshiba's shaky track record in recent years and the possibliity that it may soon be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. This would cut off a critical source of funding for the company, The Post and Courier reported this week.

That said, Toshiba has been selling some of its more lucrative companies -- it owns more than 600 of them -- in recent years to stay afloat and balance off losses. The biggest prize in its stable of companies, and its cornerstone, is its chip-making business.  As its most profitable company, Toshiba has been reluctant to part with it, but finally reached a sale agreement with a consortium of companies last week, agreeing to sell the business for $15 billion. That sale, should it be permitted by market regulators, would solve Toshiba's cash problem at least in the short term.

Santee Cooper's board met Friday of last week to discuss selling its $976 million of the Toshiba settlement. “The focus in this process is whether such a sale, and the specific terms of any offer for a proposed sale, will produce the best outcome for our stakeholders and customers,” Santee Cooper said in a statement.

The utility's board is expected to decide Wednesday whether or not to offer its share of the Toshiba settlement for sale or not. 

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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    If it decides to sell,  what does that mean for the future of the Georgia plant?  Will it still proceed?

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    What Sante Cooper does with its settlement is completely unrelated to the ongoing construction in Georgia.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    The definition of insanity... doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  No lessons learned from even 30+ years ago...Shoreham, Seabrook, TVA.  Avarice and hubris instead of cost analysis and pragmatism.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    The workforce there had a poor work ethic in general