Maritime Link construction underway in western Newfoundland
Officials from two provinces grabbed some shovels in a remote corner of western Newfoundland on Tuesday and broke ground on the Maritime Link, which will connect the island to the North American power grid.
The transmission line will bring power to be generated at the under-construction Muskrat Falls megaproject in Labrador to Nova Scotia, via Newfoundland.
"There's a lot of work going on here," said Derrick Dalley, Newfoundland and Labrador's natural resources minister, adding that the Maritime Link project has become a major employer.
"There's a lot of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians working here and that's tied to the benefits of the project as well."
Major's Logging, which is based in Deer Lake, is clearing the way for part of the 400-kilometre Maritime Link. Quality assurance manager Wayne Brown said the company has doubled its workforce to carry out the contract.
"Major's has had a long history, over several decades in the logging business," he said.
"This makes us a significant company, it diversifies what we do and it's a big opportunity for us."
"It will likely be two or three times the size of what's here now," he said.
"It will really enhance reliability on the western part of Newfoundland and at the same time it will, for the first time really, connect the western part of Newfoundland to the rest of North America through Nova Scotia."
Emera is a partner in the Muskrat Falls development plan with Nalcor Energy and the government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The estimated cost of the Maritime Link is $1.5 billion. About 200 people are currently working on the project and that number is expected to reach over 600 by 2016.
With files from Jeremy Eaton