Nalcor Energy has selected an Italian-based company to perform the major civil work on the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric generating facility. 

Astaldi Canada Inc. will build the powerhouse, intake, gated spillway, transition structures and other associated work. 

The company puts the value at $1 billion.  

In a statement released Wednesday, Nalcor said it is focused on finalizing the contract with Astaldi. Preparation for the actual work will begin in the coming weeks.

Gilbert Bennett, vice-president for Nalcor's Lower Churchill project, said the number of people working on site as has grown to about 900, and work is progressing. 

"And with the start of construction on the powerhouse, that trend will continue," Bennett said.  

Astaldi is headquartered in Rome, but its Canadian division is based in Montreal. 

Its expertise is in the construction of large infrastructure projects in transportation, water and energy, as well as civil and industrial building.