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Columbia, SC, March 31, 2008…South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG), and Santee Cooper, a state-owned electric and water utility in South Carolina, today submitted an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a combined construction and operating license (COL). The COL, once approved, would authorize the companies to build and operate up to two new nuclear electric generating units at the utilities’ existing V.C. Summer Nuclear Station site in Jenkinsville, S.C.
“Filing the application does not commit our two utilities to build, but is the logical next step as we move forward with our efforts to bring new electric generation onto our system around 2016,” said Kevin Marsh, president of SCE&G. “We’re confident that new nuclear is the right decision for South Carolina. It’s a clean, safe, non-emitting generation choice that will ultimately result in a significant reduction in emissions for our state.”
“Nuclear power can be a key part of meeting South Carolina's growing energy needs,” said Lonnie Carter, president and CEO of Santee Cooper. “Santee Cooper is ever mindful of our responsibility to provide reliable, environmentally-friendly power to our two million direct and indirect customers, and today's action represents our ongoing plans to keep nuclear power as an option.”
Development of a COL application for the new nuclear facilities began in early 2006. Now that the application has been filed, the NRC will begin an approximate three-to-four-year review process and could issue the combined license in 2011. Construction could begin shortly thereafter, subject to approval from the South Carolina Public Service Commission, with an in-service date as early as 2016 for the first unit. SCE&G and Santee Cooper estimate that base load generation will be needed for both utilities at this time.
SCE&G is a member of the NuStart Energy Development consortium. Formed in 2004 by 10 U.S. energy companies and two nuclear reactor vendors, NuStart allows member companies and the nuclear vendors to combine their industry experiences and expertise to contribute to the development of reference applications for reactor technologies, including the Westinghouse AP1000. Those applications contain standard licensing, engineering, technical, quality, and safety information that future applicants can use to develop their own site-specific applications more efficiently.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 639,000 customers in 26 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 303,000 customers in 34 counties in the state.
SCANA Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Columbia, S.C., is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses. Information about SCANA and its businesses is available on the Company’s web site at www.scana.com.
Santee Cooper is South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility and serves more than 160,000 residential and commercial customers in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties. The utility also generates the power distributed by the state's 20 electric cooperatives to more than 685,000 customers in all 46 counties. All total, nearly 2 million South Carolinians receive their power directly or indirectly from Santee Cooper. For more information, visit www.santeecooper.com.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
Statements included in this press release which are not statements of historical fact are intended to be, and are hereby identified as, “forward-looking statements” for purposes of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning key earnings drivers, customer growth, environmental regulations and expenditures, leverage ratio, projections for pension fund contributions, financing activities, access to sources of capital, impacts of the adoption of new accounting rules, estimated construction and other expenditures and factors affecting the availability of synthetic fuel tax credits. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar terminology. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and that actual results could differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) the information is of a preliminary nature and may be subject to further and/or continuing review and adjustment; (2) regulatory actions, particularly changes in rate regulation and environmental regulations; (3) current and future litigation; (4) changes in the economy, especially in areas served by subsidiaries of SCANA Corporation (SCANA); (5) the impact of competition from other energy suppliers, including competition from alternate fuels in industrial interruptible markets; (6) growth opportunities for SCANA’s regulated and diversified subsidiaries; (7) the results of financing efforts; (8) changes in SCANA’s or its subsidiaries’ accounting rules and accounting policies; (9) the effects of weather, including drought, especially in areas where the Company’s generation and transmission facilities are located and in areas served by SCANA's subsidiaries; (10) payment by counterparties as and when due; (11) the results of efforts to license, site and construct facilities for baseload electric generation; (12) the availability of fuels such as coal, natural gas and enriched uranium used to produce electricity; the availability of purchased power and natural gas for distribution; the level and volatility of future market prices for such fuels and purchased power; and the ability to recover the costs for such fuels and purchased power; (13) performance of SCANA’s pension plan assets; (14) inflation; (15) compliance with regulations; and (16) the other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in the periodic reports filed by SCANA or South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.