Building and Construction

Santee Cooper Up for Sale in Nuke Restart Bid

10 August 2017

Gov. Henry McMaster and Santee Cooper say they have companies considering buying all or part of the state-run power utility that could help restart a $9 billion nuclear plant expansion scrapped in late July.

The Post & Courier newspaper quoted McMaster as saying that his office is talking with Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy as well as Atlanta-based Southern Co. and Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Energy.

"We’re working hard," McMaster told the newspaper. "Everything’s on the table. We have a state-owned utility. I have told these power companies that it is for sale, some or all. Everything’s on the table."

(Read "SCANA and Santee Scrap 'Uneconomic' Nukes.")

Santee Cooper reportedly is conducting its own search for a buyer, but only for its 45 percent share of two unfinished reactors at the V.C. Summer site. Investor-owned South Carolina Electric & Gas controls the other 55 percent and also backed out of the construction project.

"We have heard from two interested parties and are beginning our own outreach to others," a Santee Cooper spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

Santee Cooper has been trying to sell its share of the V.C. Summer nuclear expansion project since 2010 and was close to a deal to sell a small portion to Duke Energy but the deal fell through.

Kevin Marsh, chief executive of SCANA Corp., SCE&G's parent company, told regulators his company would have continued building one reactor, until Santee Cooper walked away July 31.

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