Muskrat Falls cost overruns slagged by Opposition

Nalcor's release of an independent report on the Muskrat Falls mega-project generated some confusion during Tuesday's question period in the House of Assembly.
Premier Tom Marshall responds to news of cost overruns in the Muskrat Falls project 8:40

Nalcor's release of an independent report on the Muskrat Falls project caused confusion — and a lot of questions — during Tuesday's question period in the House of Assembly.  

The report, from independent engineering firm MWH Canada, warns there will be cost overruns on the $6.2 billion hydroelectric project, and that first electricity might not be delivered by 2017 as first announced.  

However, the figure for the amount of power that will be generated had been removed from the report — prompting a flurry of questions in the legislature. 

Within minutes of question period ending, Nalcor tweeted out the number — 824 megawatts — which had been promised all along.

The episode left some shaking their heads, including Liberal Leader Dwight Ball. 

"Why would you put yourself through this — why would you redact information that you're willing to release?" asked Ball.

"Not surprised to hear of cost overruns. I'm surprised that we don't know how much those cost overruns will be."

Wealth 'will be massive'

Meanwhile, Premier Tom Marshall said the project will be well worth it.

Nalcor's update on the Muskrat Falls project was the big topic during question period in the House of Assembly on Tuesday. An independent report warns of cost overruns on the multi-billion dollar project, but Nalcor is not saying by how much.
"Right now we're in the stage where we're investing and of course, you have to invest in these projects. But when the returns start coming in, the wealth for the people of the province will be massive," Marshall said. 

Marshall said the final cost is in flux because there are too many large, costly items that have not been settled, including contracts that are yet to be awarded.

Nalcor CEO Ed Martin said total costs could be released at the utility's annual meeting in June.


  • A previous version of this story stated Nalcor tweeted out a figure of 826 megawatts. It has since been corrected to state 824 megawatts.
    Apr 16, 2014 3:05 PM NT


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