Nfld. & Labrador

Nalcor capital expenditures down as Muskrat Falls nears completion

The Crown corporation's 2017 profits boosted by Hebron completion at Bull Arm

Quarterly report says spending on $12.7B hydroelectric project has reached $9.7B

Nalcor's second-quarter report notes a steep drop in capital expenditures year-to-date over 2017, thanks to progress in and completion of projects last year. (Gary Locke/CBC)

Nalcor Energy's capital expenditures are down more than $600 million year-to-date over 2017, according to the Crown corporation's second-quarter report, largely due to progress on Muskrat Falls and other projects.

Nalcor's capital spending to the end of June 2018 is $694 million, compared with $1.34 billion for the same period in 2017, a decrease of $649 million, noted Derrick Sturge, Nalcor's executive vice-president of finance, during an online webcast outlining the report's highlights.

2017 profits boosted by Bull Arm

The corporation's profits so far in 2018 stand at $113 million, down from $135 million in the same period in 2017, but the report notes profits last year were inflated by $34 million from the Bull Arm fabrication facility, which completed its work on the Hebron project last year, as well as a one-time adjustment of $9 million because of the resolution of regulatory issues related to Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro's 2013 general rate application.

Excluding the Bull Arm and Hydro-related boosts, the report notes that 2018 profit is up $21 million over the same period in 2017, which it credits to higher oil prices, oil production and electricity prices in export markets this year.

Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall delivered highlights of the report via online webcast Wednesday morning. (Gary Locke/CBC)

Stan Marshall, Nalcor's president and CEO, touted the first flow of electricity from the Churchill Falls generating plant over the Labrador-island link.

Marshall said testing will continue over the coming months, with power expected to be delivered to homes and businesses on the island this winter.

$9.7B spent on Muskrat Falls so far

At the Muskrat Falls generation facility, concrete and steel liners that form the foundations and water passages for the turbines have been put in place. Concrete work on the North Dam restarted in April, and was almost 70 per cent complete by the end of June.

Total capital spending on the Muskrat Falls project has reached just under $9.7 billion, or 76 per cent of the project's forecasted $12.7-billion price tag.

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