Yesterday, SCANA held its Spring 2010 analyst meeting which provided an update on the progress of Summer nuclear units 2 & 3. Among the wealth of new pictures (pdf) and stats, the biggest pieces of news are that the project is slightly under budget and may come in almost $1B less than planned once completed (still early though). Here’s Steve Byrne (pdf) - SCANA Corp.’s Executive VP and Chief Nuclear Officer (p. 26):
Quick cost update; this is a total project cost which includes for us escalation and contingencies. So generally our contract was negotiated in 2007 dollars, here what you're seeing are escalated numbers [chart below]. The project to-date should have spent about a little over $1 billion, we spent a little under $1 billion. You can see that the project budget is about 10.6 based on the current escalation factors; we think we're going to come in at about 9.8.
Those numbers are going to change. I don't get too excited about them dropping or raising a little bit; those are going to change as the project goes forward. But what it says is that our current projections based on what's called a Handy-Whitman Index for inflation, would yield a result that's a little bit lower than what the budget is, so that's a positive sign.
On top of SCANA’s presentation, the owners of the two planned units at South Texas Project completed a major labor agreement:
Nuclear Innovation North America LLC (NINA), the nuclear development company jointly owned by NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG) and Toshiba Corporation, has announced an agreement for the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) of the AFL-CIO to provide skilled union labor to construct the two new nuclear units at the South Texas Project (STP).
Approximately 6,000 people will work up to 25 million hours to build the new units, STP 3&4, which are located about 100 miles southwest of Houston in Matagorda County, Texas.
A 2010 economic study conducted by The Perryman Group, a Texas economic and financial analysis firm, estimates construction of STP 3&4 will generate more than $15 billion in business activity in America as well as $3.6 billion in spending and $600 million in local and state revenues annually once the two units are operational.
Looks like the industry is growing steadily along!