Nfld. & Labrador

Company building Maritime Link lines files for bankruptcy protection

A Spanish company that is building parts of the Maritime Link from Muskrat Falls has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Construction of the transmission lines between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland involves building the towers and stringing of conductors. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

A Spanish company that is building parts of the Maritime Link, which will funnel Labrador-generated electricity to the Maritimes, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Abengoa was awarded the contract for 400 kilometres of overhead transmission line on Newfoundland and in Nova Scotia.

The power lines are part of the infrastructure that will connect the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project to the North American grid.

The Maritime Link is the phase of the project that will move electricity to the Maritime provinces and possibly into the United States.

A spokesperson with Emera Inc., which is overseeing the project, said despite Abengoa's financial problems, it is still obligated to do the work.

"We've done the work on building in contractual protection into the contract," said Neera Ritcey, manager for communications with Emera.

"We believe they will protect our customers and our suppliers."

Abengoa is more than $9 billion in debt, and has four months to reach an agreement with its creditors.

Emera keeping close eye on situation

Emera says it is monitoring the situation and taking the necessary steps to make sure the Maritime Link project stays on track.

"Abengoa has committed to executing the terms of its contract," said Ritcey.

"We will do everything we can to avoid any unnecessary delays."

In the meantime, Premier Paul Davis told CBC News he plans on having a discussion from members of Emera to get full details on what their plan is in wake of the news about Abengoa.

He described Emera as a "solid company and a good company," and that he "wouldn't be surprised if they had not been tracking their own sub-contractors," as they work towards completing the Maritime Link.

The Maritime Link is a transmission system that includes 180-kilometre subsea cables that will deliver hydroelectric power from Cape Ray, N.L., to an area near Point Aconi in Cape Breton. (Government of Nova Scotia)

With files from Ted Blades


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