Southern Co SO
Q1 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/24/2013

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. My name is Ilene, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Southern Company First Quarter 2013 Earnings Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Dan Tucker, Vice President of Investor Relations and Financial Planning. Please go ahead, sir.

Dan Tucker - IR: Thank you, Ilene. Welcome everyone to Southern Company's first quarter 2013 earnings call. Joining me this afternoon are Tom Fanning, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Company and Art Beattie, Chief Financial Officer.

Let me remind you that we will make forward-looking statements today in addition to providing historical information. Various important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements, including those discussed in our Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

In addition, we will present non-GAAP financial information on this call. Reconciliations to the applicable GAAP measure are included in the financial information we released this morning as well as the slides for this conference call. Please note that today's call and webcast are audio only which means we will not be displaying slides during the presentation. You can follow along by accessing the slides posted on our Investor Relations website at

Tom will open today's call with an update on Plant Vogtle and the Kemper project and Art will then provide an overview of our first quarter financial results as well as a discussion on sales and the economy. After closing remarks from Tom, we will move to Q&A.

At this time, I'll turn the call over to Tom Fanning.

Thomas A. Fanning - Chairman, President and CEO: Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us. During the first quarter of 2013, Southern Company continued to fulfill our primary mission of providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy and doing what's best for customers and the communities we serve. An important component of this work is the progress we're making with our major construction projects.

At Plant Vogtle Unit 3, we recently completed the placement of basemat structural concrete for the nuclear island pouring approximately 7,000 cubic yards of concrete in 41 hours. At Unit 4, the nuclear island foundation is now complete and column setting is underway. The full outlines of both nuclear islands have now been completed to grade level and overall construction on the units is more than 40% complete. As you can see on the slide, over the next quarter, we expect to install rebar for Unit 3 auxiliary building walls and also set the containment vessel bottom head and structural steel for Unit 3. We further expect to complete installation of the upper mudmat and begin nuclear island rebar for Unit 4.

Georgia Power also received unanimous approval from the Georgia PSC on its seventh construction monitoring report and recently filed its eighth report which included the following; a request that the PSC verify and improve all costs totaling $209 million incurred between July 1 and December 31 of 2012; a request that the PSC amends the existing certificate to reflect revised commercial operation dates for the fourth quarter of 2017 and 2018 for Units 3 and 4 respectively; and request that the PSC amend the existing certificate to reflect an increase in the projected total capital cost from $4.4 billion to $4.8 billion, with the associated increase largely driven by schedule-related as opposed to brick-and-mortar cost which remains stable; a projection of total impact on customer rates of between 6% and 8% once the units are in service; and finally, a determination the extended construction schedule will not increase costs to customers.

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