Economic Blows to ACP

According to the February 18, 2019, Rocky Mount Telegram, Moody’s Investors Service has changed its rating of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline “to credit negative due to the project’s latest increases in costs and delays in construction. ‘As cost estimates continue to rise and as the completion date is pushed further out, Dominion’s path for financial improvement is starting to look more uncertain,’ said Moody’s Vice President Ryan Wobbrock. When investors begin to sour on big construction projects, the collapse comes into view, said Jim Warren, executive director of N.C. Warn, a Durham-based environmental watchdog group. ‘This project is $3 billion over budget yet construction had barely begun when it’s been halted for many months,’ Warren said. ‘My guess: 30 percent chance it’ll ever be completed.'”

A few days earlier, S&P Global reported on February 14, 2019, that “On its earnings call, Duke executives expressed concern over litigation and permit delays of one of its biggest projects, the planned 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Analysts were told that the company hopes it can resume construction of the line in the fall when it will pursue a phased schedule, with the first phase of the line in service by late 2020 and the second in 2021. The estimated cost of the pipeline has risen to $7.8 billion from $7 billion, Duke Energy chairman and CEO Lynn Good told the analysts.”

The $7.8 billion mentioned by S&P is a new high for the ACP projected cost. Recently mentioned estimated costs had been $7 billion, up from the original $4.5-$5 billion estimated by Dominion in 2014.