A South Carolina-based company could join the Santee Cooper sweepstakes.
Greenville-based Pacolet Milliken, a family-owned investment company, is considering a bid to purchase some or all of the state-owned utility – which some S.C. leaders want to sell after its nuclear fiasco.
“Conversations have been merely exploratory at this point,” Pacolet Milliken president Richard Webel said in a written statement. “No proposals have been offered nor have any negotiations taken place.”
Pacolet Milliken, an offshoot of the Spartanburg-based textile and chemical research giant Milliken & Company, join a field of four out-of-state utilities who have expressed interest in buying Santee Cooper.
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster has sought buyers since August, just after Santee Cooper and Cayce-based SCE&G pulled the plug on a $9 billion effort to build two nuclear reactors in Fairfield County.
The Richland Republican has said a sale would either restart construction of the reactors or return the money Santee Cooper customers were charged for it.
But some lawmakers have suggested that an out-of-state company might provide inferior customer service or raise rates.
Webel says Pacolet Milliken was approached by Twenty First Century Utilities, a Washington, D.C.-based energy firm, to “explore options related to the potential sale of Santee Cooper.”
“No response to the overture to us will be made until we have done our due diligence to carefully review the concept,” Webel said.
Florida-based NextEra, Georgia-based Southern Co., North Carolina-based Duke Energy and Virginia-based Dominion Energy also have shown interest.