Pennecon picks up where Astaldi left off at Muskrat Falls — but cost is under wraps

Nalcor ordered Astaldi Canada, the former main contractor, off the site in October after concerns the troubled company wouldn't be able to make payroll.

Pennecon work on the site will begin immediately, according to Nalcor statement

In a statement, Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall said workers with Pennecon would be heading out to the Muskrat Falls site immediately. (Nalcor Energy)

Pennecon has been contracted to start work on the Muskrat Falls generation facility, but how much the company is getting paid is a closely-guarded secret.

Stan Marshall, Nalcor's CEO, announced on Thursday that Pennecon had been tapped to take over "critical work" at the site of the megaproject.

That work is to "mitigate cost and schedule risks" resulting from Astaldi's shutdown.

So, how much is the contract worth?

"The value of the contract is commercially sensitive at this time given the ongoing legal proceedings in relation to the Muskrat Falls generation project," said Karen O'Neil, a communications manager at Nalcor Energy in an email to CBC.

"Information on the project that is not commercially sensitive has, and will continue to be, shared publicly," O'Neil added in a subsequent email.

Nalcor Energy CEO Stan Marshal announced that Pennecon has been hired to finish the Muskrat Falls project. (Gary Locke/CBC)

She said that the "current forecasted capital cost of the entire project remains at $10.1 billion."

Astaldi Canada, the main contractor for the Muskrat Falls project, and Naclor are currently in a legal battle.

Astaldi filed a court injunction — which Premier Dwight Ball has said "prevented the flow of money" to pay 120 managers still owed wages — and Nalcor is trying to get that injunction overturned.

The issue is now being sorted out through arbitration.

That means very little to the people waiting for owed wages, who likely won't see that money before Christmas.

It was in October that Nalcor announced it was cutting ties with the financially-troubled company and issued a stop-work order, after concerns Astaldi wouldn't be able to make payroll.

Workers on their way

Newfoundland and Labrador-based Pennecon will begin sending workers to the site "immediately," according to Marshall's statement.

"The company understands Nalcor's established hiring protocols which provide hiring preferences for qualified members of Innu Nation first, followed by Labradorians and then residents of the island," the statement read.

Work by other contractors on the project will continue as planned, Marshall said.

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