Nova Scotia

Maritime Link contractor missed payroll last week, made good yesterday

The company awarded the contract for 400 kilometres of overhead transmission lines for the Maritime Link in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland was unable to meet its payroll last week.

Emera says job remains on schedule, on budget

Emera says despite Abengoa's financial trouble, work on the transmission towers is on time and on budget. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

The company awarded the contract for 400 kilometres of overhead transmission lines for the Maritime Link in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland was unable to meet its payroll last week.

Abengoa is a Spanish company with an office at the Sydport Industrial Park near Sydney.

No one from Abengoa's local office responded to a call from CBC, but the payroll problem was confirmed by Jeff Myrick, senior manager of communications and public affairs for Emera Newfoundland and Labrador.

"We were notified of that, I believe it was yesterday [Monday]," he said.

Employees now paid

Since then, Myrick says the employees have been paid. 

"Yes, it has been resolved," he said. "I do confirm that it was resolved."

The Spanish energy company filed for bankruptcy protection in November. It is operating under creditor protection and is working on a plan to restructure $16 billion in debts.

Despite Abengoa's financial troubles, Myrick says the transmission line is on schedule and on budget.

"Abengoa's local subcontractor, PowerTel, is making good progress on three of the five transmission lines," he said. "We are working with Abengoa to ensure that the overall schedule is met for the remaining two lines."

'Responsibility to meet their obligations'

The power lines are part of the infrastructure that will connect the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project to the North American grid.

Myrick says the terms of the contract are still being met. 

Nova Scotia Power Maritime Link Inc. "payments to Abengoa are up to date and we have communicated our expectation to Abengoa about their responsibility to meet their obligations," he said.

The completion date for the project is late 2017.

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