Westinghouse needs more time in crafting bankruptcy plan

Westinghouse Electric Co. has finalized its business plan, but its strategy is not yet ready for prime time, the bankrupt nuclear technology firm said in a court filing on Wednesday.

Cranberry-based Westinghouse asked a New York bankruptcy judge to allow the company an extra three months to file a reorganization plan.

Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy protection in late March in an attempt to wall off its profitable businesses — such as servicing operating nuclear plants and supplying them with fuel — from its spiraling and money-losing involvement in the construction of four new nuclear power plants in Georgia and South Carolina.

“Less than four months (later), Westinghouse has made substantial progress toward achieving these goals,” the company said in court records.

Given the complicated nature of the business — the company has thousands of vendors, some 37,000 creditors and “five different business lines that serve more than half of the nuclear power plants in the world” -- more time is needed, Westinghouse said.

While Westinghouse was able to strike a deal for Southern Co., the parent of the Vogtle project in Georgia, to take over the construction of the nuclear power plants there, it is still negotiating with Scana Corp., which owns the V.C. Summer project in South Carolina.

Companies in bankruptcy have a 120-day exclusivity period to come up with a reorganization plan and another 60 days to try to gain approval of it without worrying about creditors or others introducing competing plans. Westinghouse is seeking to extend both deadlines until Dec. 6 and Feb. 4, 2018, respectively.

Spokesperson Sarah Cassella said the extension “has been anticipated since the outset of our Chapter 11 cases,” and “has no practical impact on Westinghouse’s day-to-day operations.”

The company delivered a business plan to its bankruptcy lenders on Thursday -— “on schedule,” Ms. Cassella said.

In a related filing on Wednesday, Westinghouse also asked for more time to decide the fate of 60 property leases, including for space at its Cranberry headquarters, and others in Warrendale, Youngwood, Monroeville, New Stanton and Pittsburgh.

A hearing on these motions is scheduled for Sept. 7.

Anya Litvak: alitvak@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1455.

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