Nfld. & Labrador

SNC-Lavalin wins Lower Churchill contract

Engineering giant SNC-Lavalin has won a key contract to oversee the construction of the Lower Churchill hydroelectrical megaproject in central Labrador.

Engineering giant SNC-Lavalin has won a key contract to oversee the construction of the Lower Churchill hydroelectrical megaproject in central Labrador.

Nalcor, the Crown-owned energy corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador, said the Montreal-based company won the competition for engineering, procurement and construction management work on two main parts of the Lower Churchill project.

Nalcor and Halifax-based Emera Inc. announced their plans for a $6.2-billion project to generate power at Muskrat Falls on Labrador's Churchill River. The power will then be piped underwater to Newfoundland, with as much as 60 per cent of it then sent through underwater cables to Nova Scotia and beyond.

SNC-Lavalin will oversee construction of the Muskrat Falls generating station, as well as the underwater link between Labrador and Newfoundland.

"The contract award is an important milestone for the project and further detailed engineering will move in parallel with other key project elements as Nalcor progresses through to sanction," the company said in a statement.

Nalcor, Emera, and the governments of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador signed what is called a term sheet in November, paving the way for the Lower Churchill deal. A formal legal contract is expected to be signed in 2011.

Danny Williams retired as Newfoundland and Labrador's premier two weeks after signing the Lower Churchill deal, saying he had achieved the last remaining item on his political agenda.