The US has provided government loan guarantees worth $8bn to Southern Company to begin work on a nuclear power plant in Georgia.

The two new 1,100MW-units will be located at Plant Vogtle for Georgia Power, a Southern subsidiary that already owns and operates two nuclear units.

The guarantees would apply to future borrowings for construction of units 3 and 4 of the Vogtle plant, the first US nuclear power units in over 30 years.

Total borrowings amount to about $3.4bn that is expected to be funded by the Federal Financing Bank.

The new units will be jointly owned by Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power) and Dalton Utilities and operated by Southern Nuclear.

The new units are expected to cost about $14bn of which Georgia Power’s share amounts to $6.1bn.