Toshiba to Speed $1.5 Billion Payment to Southern on Nuke Plant

(Bloomberg) -- Southern Co. said an accelerated timetable for receiving the remaining $3.2 billion in parental guarantees from Toshiba Corp. for two reactors under construction in Georgia will help its case to continue with the project.

Southern’s Georgia Power unit, which owns a 46 percent stake in the Vogtle plant, will get about $1.47 billion of the total. The project owners, which include Oglethorpe Power Corp., Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities, have received $455 million so far from Toshiba.

Southern said Toshiba will provide the remaining payments by Dec. 15, according to a statement Tuesday by the Atlanta-based company. Under a earlier agreement, Toshiba would have spread out the payments through 2020 after its Westinghouse Electric Co. unit backed out of the project after filing for bankruptcy in March.

Southern shares, which were down as much as 1.3 percent, rebounded and were off 0.2 percent at $50.24 as of 10:57 a.m. in New York.

The agreement comes at a critical time for Southern as it seeks permission from Georgia regulators to finish its reactors after delays and total costs have soared to more than $25 billion. Last week, staff of the Georgia Public Service commission said the project no longer made economic sense for customers unless Southern shareholders absorbed millions in cost overruns.

“We are pleased to have reached this constructive agreement with Toshiba regarding the parent guarantees for the Vogtle project and every dollar will be used to benefit our customers," Paul Bowers, president of Georgia Power, said in the statement.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.