Santee Cooper said its board of directors today approved a $2.9 billion budget for 2013.

The 2013 budget includes $2 billion for the state-owned utility’s electric system, and $933.7 million for capital projects, including the construction of two new nuclear reactors in the Midlands.

About $7.7 million was earmarked for Santee Cooper’s water systems.

About 53 percent of the $2 billion electric system funding is fuel and power the Moncks Corner-based utility buys to supplement its own generation. The remaining dollars will be allocated to the other costs necessary to operate the utility, Santee Cooper said.

“We are taking advantage of the lower prices of natural gas by purchasing more gas-fired electricity where it costs less for our customers,” said CEO Lonnie Carter. “More than ever, flexibility is key for us as we navigate through rising fuel and transportation costs and increasing government regulation. We are continuing to balance options and hold the line on all the costs that we can.”

Santee Cooper’s board approved the 2013 budget at its monthly meeting in Pinopolis.