A new $280 million scrubber went into operation last week at SCE&G’s Wateree Station electric generating plant in Eastover.
The federally mandated “flue gas desulfurization unit” is designed to make the coal-fired plant more environmentally friendly, according to the Cayce utility. S.C. Electric & Gas is asking regulators to increase the average residential monthly bill by $11.69 by mid-2011 to pay for that and other environmentally required projects, which total more than $700 million.
Business journals file for bankruptcy
CHARLESTON The Ohio-based owner of the Charleston and Columbia regional business journals has filed for bankruptcy protection. Brown Publishing Co., along with Brown Media Holdings Co., also plan to sell their assets in 10 states to an unidentified bidder the companies have chosen. Brown bought the Charleston Regional Business Journal in 2008 and launched business newspapers in Columbia and the Upstate. They operate under the name of SC Biz News LLC. Brown said it has strong cash balances, positive operating cash flows and financing in place to finance the process.
U.S. auto sales continue to rise
DETROIT The U.S. auto industry stayed on the road to recovery in April, but it eased up on the gas pedal a bit. Ford saw last month’s sales rise 25 percent from a year earlier, while General Motors climbed 6.4 percent. Sales for Toyota, which has grappled with a string of safety recalls, rose 24 percent. Even Chrysler, which has struggled much of the year, reported a 25 percent sales increase, while Honda, Hyundai, Subaru and others also continued to see gains. But the industry likely won’t be able to maintain the pace seen in March, when big sales promotions led by Toyota fueled higher sales. Auto researcher Edmunds.com says incentives fell an average of 5 percent in April as the luster wore off some of the deals and automakers tried to pull back on spending.
Fewer buyers, businesses seek loans
WASHINGTON Most banks are seeing weaker demand for loans from both consumers and businesses, according to a quarterly survey released by the Federal Reserve on Monday. The survey found that demand over the last three months slipped further for home loans geared to the most creditworthy borrowers, for home equity loans and for business loans. In addition, most banks said they have tightened standards and terms on credit cards used by small businesses. Those standards are tighter now than before the financial crisis, the Fed said.
Chrysler gas pedals being probed
DETROIT Chrysler says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a problem with sticky accelerator pedals in the 2007 Dodge Caliber. The automaker says some customers have reported problems with pedals in the compact sport utility vehicle. But it says it is not aware of any accidents. Chrysler says that the problem is limited to a small number of vehicles built during a five-week period in March and April 2006. The automaker says the problem appears to be with a parts supplier and is mechanical, not electronic. There has been no recall.
Apple iPad sales surpass 1 million
SAN FRANCISCO Apple said Monday that sales of the iPad have topped 1 million units less than one month after the touch-screen tablet device first went on sale. The company released the WiFi version of the iPad on April 3, while devices that connect to 3G wireless networks went on sale Friday. Sales have already outstripped initial Wall Street estimates.
Kristy Eppley Rupon, The (Charleston) Post and Courier, MarketWatch and The Associated Press contributed.