Georgia Power – the largest affiliate of electric utility firm The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) – took another significant step in the construction of its Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4. It placed a reactor vessel cavity, CA-04 module, which will hold the Unit 3 reactor vessel.
The module is 27 feet tall and 21 feet wide and weighs around 64,000 pounds. It is a vital component of the project and comprises five sub-modules.
Last month, Georgia Power had announced the successful installation of the basemat structural concrete for the nuclear island at the Vogtle Unit 4 site near Waynesboro, Ga. The 7,000 cubic yards of concrete that was placed will act as the foundation for all the other structures to be built on the Unit 4 nuclear island.
The units 3 and 4 are expected to come online by 2017 and 2018 and are estimated to add capacity of over 2,200 megawatts. In the long run, the project should be a significant contributor to the company’s earnings. However, concerns about the efficacy of the safety equipment of the nuclear plants prevail.
Georgia Power is the majority stake holder in the project with 45.7% ownership rights. Other owners include Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities which hold 30.0%, 22.7% and 1.6% stake, respectively. Southern Nuclear Operating Co, a subsidiary of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO), acts as the operator.
Georgia Power an investor-owned, tax-paying utility has been providing electricity to Georgia for more than a century at rates well below the national average.
Georgia Power’s parent Co., Southern Company, is one of the largest generators of electricity in the nation, serving both regulated and competitive markets across the southeastern U.S.
The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.
Meanwhile, one can consider better-ranked energy sector stocks like Matador Resources Co (NYSE:MTDR), SM Energy Co. (NYSE:SM) and Bonanza Creek Energy Inc (NYSE:BCEI). These stocks currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Disclaimer: This article is written by Zacks Equity Research and originally published at Zacks.com.