Stalled Nuclear Project Settlement Sold

Citibank buys Santee-Cooper's share of the payoff

Roger Davis
September 27, 2017 - 2:32 pm

South Carolina's state-owned utility is selling its portion of a $2 billion, five-year settlement over a failure nuclear power project to essentially collect 92 percent immediately.  It will allow Santee Cooper to collect about $900 million now instead of the potential of $980 million over five years.

The board of Santee Cooper on Wednesday unanimously approved "monetizing" the settlement with the parent company of Westinghouse, the bankrupt lead contractor of the now-defunct project.  Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric & Gas signed the settlement with Toshiba days before the partners bailed on the partly built reactors at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station.

Santee Cooper CEO Lonnie Carter calls Citibank's high bid of 91.5 percent "a bird in the hand" considering the Japanese company's "terribly weak" below investment-grade credit.
Citibank's payout does not include Toshiba's first payment of $150 million to the utilities, due this weekend. Santee Cooper executives say SCANA, SCE&G's parent company, is expected to accept the offer too, allowing for the transaction to be completed before the end of the week. 

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