Whether or not an interim financing agreement will be extended at Plant Vogtle has not been determined, with one state agency predicting litigation over a substantially similar nuclear project at the V.C. Summer nuclear facility.
A June 3 deadline for the current extension at Vogtle came and went with no court filings as of Saturday evening in a New York City bankruptcy court database. It remained unclear as of press time if Westinghouse planned to resume payments or if the work is no longer financed.
A Westinghouse spokesperson reached via email Saturday was unable to comment as of press time about the status of any extensions.
Westinghouse entered into a 30-day interim financing agreement with Georgia Power and other owners of the Burke County, Georgia, nuclear facility shortly after Westinghouse declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 29. The deal was reached to prevent work stoppages.
The agreement was extended to June 3. A similar interim finance agreement is in place at the V.C. Summer Nuclear nuclear facility in Fairfield County. That agreement doesn't lapse until June 26.
Multiple companies have filed mechanic's liens targeting both plants, with liens running into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff, or ORS, which regulates utilities in South Carolina, also doesn't now what will become of the plants.
"It is possible, though not certain, that the parties may agree on further extensions of the periods of the agreements," the ORS said in status summary memo filed May 31.
The ORS memo further said much of Westinghouse's financial woes stem from costs of the AP1000 reactors, two of which are being installed at Vogtle and two more at V.C. Summer.
"In its filings and early presentation to the Bankruptcy Court, Westinghouse characterized its [sic] all of its businesses as profitable with the exception of the AP1000 business," the filing states.
"It indicated that the need to fund the operating losses resulting from the AP1000 contract business had been a severe drain on the profits of other operations," the filing continues.
Because of the AP1000 troubles, the ORS predicts Westinghouse will break its contract both nuclear projects, likely leading to litigation.
ORS further says a recently approved debtor-in-possession financing plan will not be used to fulfill Westinghouse's contracts with SCANA and Santee Cooper, owners of V.C. Summer, or Georgia Power at Vogtle, all of whom are temporarily footing the bill at their respective plants, per the agreement.
"It is generally expected that Westinghouse will file a motion seeking to reject its contracts to construct the two plants," the ORS memo said. "The timing of Westinghouse's expected rejection of the AP1000 construction contracts is uncertain."
If Westinghouse walks, litigation is likely, the ORS document said.
"By rejecting the contract, the debtor-in-possession (Westinghouse) is deemed to be the breaching party to the contract, and the non-breaching party then has a claim against the bankruptcy estate for resulting damages," the document states.
"Absent an agreement between the parties, which would require approval by the Bankruptcy Court, the determination of damages from the rejection of the contracts probably would entail litigation by the parties," the document continues.