Southern Company (SO): Vogtle Nuclear Project Q220 Quarterly Monitor
Southern Company (SO) Q2 Vogtle Nuclear Project Monitor – Key Highlights:
• Vogtle Expansion: 6-Years Late…And ~$13-$16 Billion Over Budget? (Slides 2-5)
• How Much Will SO Be On The Hook For? (Slides 3-6)
• Something’s Gotta Give: Key Commissioning Milestones Appear Crammed Together To Avoid ROE Reductions (Slides 6-8)
• Cost Projections Were Already Ramping…Before COVID-19 (Slides 9-12)
• Cost Prudency Reviews – A Make Or Break For Stakeholders?…. (Slides 13-19)
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- Quarterly Deep Dive Into Southern Company’s (SO) $27B Vogtle Nuclear Expansion. Southern Company (SO), is the largest owner of the Vogtle Nuclear Facility, via the 46% held by its wholly-owned subsidiary Georgia Power.
• Vogtle has two active units (Units 1-2), which have been in-service since 1987-89. A two unit expansion (Units 3-4) was approved in 2009
• Units 3 & 4 were originally expected to be in-service in 2016-17 and cost a combined ~$14B, the expansion project is now 6-7 years behind schedule, with costs rising to ~$27B….and potentially higher (slides 3-6).
• Hence, the premise of adding a W|EPC Quarterly Vogtle Project Monitor to our Utility & Energy research platform: Digging into those cost overruns – particularly the bulging EPC costs, to get a more accurate and detailed view of the potential headwind for project stakeholders and SO shareholders.
Regulatory Background: Vogtle is regulated by the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC). GPSC’s primary role is to protect rate payers & determine if project costs can be justifiably passed-through via utility rates. In the quarters that follow we’ll venture to aggregate, analyze, and interpret cost overruns through the lens of GPSC, to put together a thoughtful estimate of what cost overruns will eventually land with SO shareholders.
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W|EPC: Sempra’s Costa Azul – Is ECA Different? A Deep Dive Into SRE’s Mighty Mouse
Sempra LNG’s Costa Azul – Analysis & Risks As Larger Projects Falter
- Overview Pages 1-3
- ECA Phase 1 & 2 Structures Pages 3-4
- Supply Dynamics & Feedstock Analysis Pages 6-7
- Sempra LNG Commercial Arrangements Pages 8-9
- EPC Analysis
- Project History & Dynamics Pages 9-10
- TechnipFMC – Historical Execution Details Pages 10-12
- Site Issues With Modularization Pages 12-13
- Independent Site & Schedule Analysis Pages 13-17
- Project Cost Analysis & Major Risks Pages 18-26
- Shipping, Midstream Pages 27-28
- Management Questions Pages 29-30
- Conclusions Pages 30-31
Mighty Mouse? Sempra’s (SRE) Costa Azul LNG (ECA, 2.4mtpa Phase-1) might be the only North American LNG project with a realistic chance at FID in 2020. As we saw last cycle, being small (and cheap) can be an advantage in difficult markets. As we note below, we’ve included our key takeaways around 1) Project viability in the current environment, 2) Site & Permitting Issues, 3) our independent project timeline & cost estimates, and 4) our Independent assessment of ECA’s project economics.
Background: Energía Costa Azul (ECA) is a 1 BCF/d LNG import terminal located north of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, ~31 miles south of the U.S./Mexican border (San Diego-Tijuana). It’s owned by Infrastructura Energetic Nova (IEnova), one of the largest natural gas infrastructure developers in Mexico, and is listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV: IENOVA). Sempra Energy owns 66.43% of IEnova.
Existing Infrastructure: The current ECA import terminal (Figure 1) includes the following infrastructure: (1) a marine berth and breakwater; (2) two 160,000 m3 LNG tanks; and (3) LNG vaporizers, nitrogen injection systems, and pipeline interconnections. Similar to some existing U.S. exporters and brownfield projects, ECA will be turning their facilities around to export LNG.
Permitting: ECA has received most of the major Mexico and U.S. permits needed to begin construction, but still lacks a key Mexican land-use permit. ECA LNG is not subject to FERC review under the National Gas Act (NGA) or National Environmental Policy Agency (NEPA). However, ECA is subject to various Mexican state and federal regulatory agencies, such as the Secretaris de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales/ Ministry of Environmental and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the Agencia Nacional de Seguridad Industrial y de Proteccion al Medio Ambiente del Sector Hidrocarburos/ National Agency for Industrial Security and Environmental Protection for the Hydrocarbon Industry (ASEA), as well as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).…continued
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