Nfld. & Labrador

Nalcor fires back at PUB over Wells comments

Nalcor Energy is hitting back at the Public Utilities Board, accusing board chairman Andy Wells of making unfair comments about the company.

Energy corporation expresses 'concern' about earlier remarks to the media

Nalcor Energy is hitting back at the Public Utilities Board, accusing board chairman Andy Wells of making unfair comments about the company.

"We would be remiss, however, if we did not express our concern about your comments in the media (earlier this week)," Nalcor CEO wrote in a Jan. 11 letter to Wells.

"They do not provide a balanced view on the extraordinary efforts we have made to supply information to the board. Nalcor wants to ensure that the process and final board report is both balanced and a fair representation of the information presented."

Nalcor CEO Ed Martin has written a letter critical of comments made in the media by PUB chairman Andy Wells. (CBC)

The PUB is currently reviewing the $6.2-billion Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project, at the request of the provincial government.

Wells has been sharply critical of Nalcor's role in that process. He said this week that the company has blown deadlines and is not co-operating with the review. Wells called it "a torturous process."

But in his letter of response, Martin rejected those criticisms. He said Nalcor is onboard with the PUB's work.

"We appreciate that Nalcor was not always able to meet the board's expectations with respect to deadlines, and regrettably, Nalcor at points did not clearly communicate to the board that the deadlines being set, in some cases, were not achievable," Martin wrote.

"However, the reasons were due solely to an underestimation of the volume of requests and the time required to compile the answers, and should in no way be interpreted as a lack of commitment to the process."

Martin said Nalcor has submitted 180 exhibits of information to the board, and provided 15,000 pages of documentation.

The provincial government has set a deadline of March 31 for the PUB review to be complete, and has rejected a request to give the board more time.