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Saturday November 25th, 2017 6:02AM

The Latest: Utility shareholder wants $21M in bonuses back

By The Associated Press

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the failure of a nuclear power project in South Carolina (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

A shareholder is suing a South Carolina utility, asking 12 executives return $21 million in bonuses connected to the canceled construction of two nuclear reactors.

John Crangle of the ethics watchdog group Common Cause called the bonuses appalling and disturbing, given the bad decisions made by the executives of SCANA, the parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas.

SCE&G and state-owned Santee Cooper decided to end construction on the two reactors at the V.C. Summer plant after jointly spending nearly $10 billion on construction and charging customers more than $2 billion in interest fees since 2009.

Crangle's suit points out SCANA stock has fallen 20 percent this year. The stock fell 7 percent on Wednesday alone after state regulators were asked to stop the utilities form charging ratepayers for the unbuilt reactors.

___

2:30 p.m.

Both owners of a failed nuclear project in South Carolina are selling their nearly $2.2 billion, five-year settlement over the debacle so that they can collect 92 percent of the cash immediately.

The governing boards for South Carolina Electric & Gas and state-owned Santee Cooper agreed Wednesday to monetize their settlement with Toshiba, the parent company of Westinghouse, the bankrupt lead contractor of the now-defunct project.

The partners signed the settlement with Toshiba in July, days before bailing on the two 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. The sale is expected to go through Wednesday. They jointly give up the potential of an additional $171 million over five years, as well as any claims against Westinghouse in bankruptcy court.

___

11 a.m.

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.

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 Wednesday. A SCANA spokeswoman did not immediately respond.

The sale means Santee Cooper will collect about $900 million now instead of the potential of $980 million over five years.

___

6:30 a.m.

Gov. Henry McMaster says he remains hopeful buyers can revive an abandoned nuclear power project in South Carolina, while multiple lawsuits and investigations probe whether spending should have ended years ago.

McMaster told The Associated Press he met Tuesday with Energy Secretary Rick Perry regarding a loan program for nuclear construction. He calls that key for finding a buyer willing to complete one or both of the partly built reactors.

South Carolina Electric & Gas and state-owned Santee Cooper decided July 31 to bail on the two reactors after jointly spending nearly $10 billion on construction and charging customers more than $2 billion in interest fees since 2009.

Utility executives say they've seen no credible buyout offer.

But McMaster says he's negotiating with a "number of companies and several individuals."

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