Corner Brook BoT hopes extension is the last

Cory Hurley
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Muskrat Falls. — Transcontinental Media file photo

The new March deadline for the Newfoundland and Labrador’s Public Utilities Board to review the Muskrat Falls project should be the final one, says the president of the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade.

Keith Goulding said there are many people in the local business community and construction industry awaiting the report and, ultimately, government’s decision on the hydroelectric power project in Labrador.

The president of the Board of Trade said there are potential economic spinoffs for the area — including the construction of the transmission line and the eventual ramifications of an alternative energy source.

Goulding said the Board of Trade has been in discussions with its members about the potential benefits of such a project, and people are anxiously awaiting whether it is approved.

“If the March deadline is what is needed now, fine,” he said. “But that needs to be a final deadline.

“The House hasn’t been sat in quite some time now, so we are looking forward to getting the House back in session.

“Let’s get this report out, have a debate on it, and move forward on the recommendations and the outcome of that.”

Although the president says it is important to determine how cost effective the project is, he said the decision cannot be rushed.

The review was scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, but the provincial government extended the deadline to March 31, 2012. The public utilities board needed more time to finish it.

The utilities board is reviewing whether Muskrat Falls will provide a cost-effective alternative source of power for the province. The review began in June.


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Recent comments

  • Maggy Carter
    December 16, 2011 - 17:12

    Get a room John! Your amorous public intimacies with NALCOR are becoming quite unseemly. A 50 percent increase in electrical rates is not the problem John as you and your friends at NALCOR well understand. While picking up pennies in the street you might want to have an eye out for the Mack truck barrelling down your backside. A doubling or more of the province's debt (a very real prospect) will have far more serious consequences for taxpayers than a rate increase that might accompany one of the more reasonable options. And please don't bother us again with your nonsense about an offsetting asset on the balance sheet. Your friends at NALCOR well understand that is not how Moody's, Standard & Poor view public debt - as Ontario may soon discover. Even a cursory analysis of demand in this Province will demonstrate that NALCOR's forecasts are inflated - in the same way that its capital cost estimates are understated. When these chickens come home to roost, it won't be industry that is obliged to pick up the slack. The Province could not afford to make itself uncompetitive with other provinces - notably Quebec. No, it will be the ordinary ratepayer and taxpayer like you and me (well, like me at least) that will take the hit. My guess John is that you and the gang hiding behind your nom-de-plume will be much better off - a $10 Billion project makes for a lot of happy faces around the board table. There are always those who are prepared to sacrifice the public interest for the greater good of their own bank account. Have another go John. I can already hear the flurry of laptops preparing your next bit of propoganda.

  • lonenewfwolf
    December 16, 2011 - 15:45

    one of nalcors strategies is to privitize our water. like it or not this is the reality of investing in NA right now. water is the most valuable resource we have and to allow this company to operate outside of legislative oversight on our humungous water resources is both foolish and dangerous for our democracy.

  • Cyril Rogers
    December 16, 2011 - 14:57

    This is a giant make-work project as KEV points out and is based purely on GREED not NEED. John Smith is reading the NALCOR and government propaganda and actually believes that nonsense. He is a lackey, paid or unpaid, for the people whose interests don't represent the ordinary ratepayers of this province. Sure, our rates went up 7% last year, and will go up at this rate for the next 4 years. Why, if they are basing it on the price of oil, can they not do it on the basis of the actual yearly costs, as opposed to NALCOR's projections? The real reason is that it is a scam and merely designed to give NALCOR more money to waste on its dry wells and grandiose projects.

  • Kev
    December 16, 2011 - 12:59

    All these business and construction types from St. John's to Corner Brook to Goose Bay want this project to go ahead. Not because it is good economic or good energy policy, but because it's a big make-work project and they want five or six years worth of contracts and retail sales. That's it. The same old make-work mentality.

  • John Smith
    December 16, 2011 - 11:55

    LOL...a financial milstone...Know what is a financial millstone for me? A power bill that has gone up by 50-60 percent since 1998. It went up by 7 percent last year, and will go up again by 7-8 percent next august. That is real. No deal is perfect, but we do need a source of energy for the future, and this is the best option.

    • Kev
      December 19, 2011 - 11:21

      And if Muskrat comes on line, power rates will immediately spike, and then keep rising after that, as Nalcor's own papers state.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    December 16, 2011 - 11:11

    Peak usage for Holyrood for the winter months for the last 8 years has required only 50% of Holyrood's capacity, and that is down to 44% for the last 6 years. Holyrood was used last year to provide just something over 800 GWh of energy. So improving our island hydro reservoir storage alone would mean that that 700 GWh that is mow being spilled could be used during the winter pretty much to entirely displace Holyrood. We don't need to borrow BILLIONS for that. And John, your comment about demand increasing since 1998 is just not true, just read Nalcor's documents.

  • Maggy Carter
    December 16, 2011 - 10:44

    Take heed Mr. Wells. The Public Utilities Commission has been put on notice by no less a personage than the head of the Board of Trade in Corner Brook. Mr. Goulding is prepared to grant your request for an extension, if begrudglingly, but he doesn't want you procrastinating one minute longer. Never mind that NALCOR has dragged its feet, refusing to comply with your repeated requests to file the required documentation to support its application. Mr. Goulding doesn't really think you need any information. Like some of the NALCOR inspired posters on these boards, he clearly believes your decision has already been written for you - that the PUB is merely a rubber stamp for government's inexorable plan to hang a financial milstone around the neck of every Newfoundlander for the next 50 years. Please Andy - say it ain't so!

  • John Smith
    December 16, 2011 - 10:13

    Maurice, it's not the summer that we have to worry about. It is in January and February, when water levels are at their lowest, and demand is at it's highest. As well, your figures about demand are complete fabrication. our usage has grown every year since 1998, this without the 90 megawatts for the vale plant, the Hebron GBS, and giant projects like the one proposed near southlands. Are you hoping and praying that we see no growth here? Is that what you think? We are growing, and we are using more electricity, we will need more power. Hydro is the least cost answer to our needs. Pretending that we will not need power is just stupid, and backward.

    • Kev
      December 16, 2011 - 13:04

      The population is shrinking, the business base is shrinking, and demand is stagnant. Hebron GBS won't be using power past the construction period, the Vale plant's increase isn't even offsetting the loss of commercial and fish plant customers elsewhere on the grid. Don't kid yourself. Nalcor is feeding you manure.

  • Mark
    December 16, 2011 - 08:33

    ''a cost-effective alternative'' to what?

  • Maurice E. Adams
    December 16, 2011 - 08:18

    Nalcor's average demand forecast is more than 8 times what the island's actual average growth in demand has been over the last 21 years. +++++++ Our energy usage in 2010 is on par with what we used in 1989. ++++++ Based even on Nalcor's own excessive demand forecast, an energy deficit is not forecast until 2021. ++++++ But if Nalcor did nothing more than just improve the storage area for the island's existing hydro systems, ON THAT ALONE (and even with Nalcor's excessive forecast) we would have no energy deficit until 2032 ------- more than 20 years from now. ++++++ Nalcor spilled the equivalent of just under 700 GWh of energy from the island's reservoirs THIS SUMMER ALONE. +++++++ Putting it another way, that equates to the full energy needs of Vale's Long Harbour plant, even when it is operating at peak ------ and Nalcor forcast NO INCREASE in industrial demand past 2015. +++++ AND WE SHOULD BORROW BILLIONS FOR MUSKRAT FALLS? We have no island demand, ratepayers (and your children and grand children) will be gouged and forced to pay for very high cost power for decades to come.

  • John Smith
    December 16, 2011 - 06:57

    Yes, get on with it. Wade Locke, Navigant, both levels of gov. and Nalcor all say it's viable. This is just a way to make money for the PUB.

    • Bob
      December 16, 2011 - 15:52

      Now John, you know darn well the Naviagnt report has enough holes in it to drive a truck thru to quote a past premier, and Wade Locke will give a government favoured response because they paid him, same as he did with the municipalities thing he did. The people of Nova Scotia and even Emera have their doubts about THEIR costs and what can I say about Nalcor. Danny gave them a blank cheque to do whatever they friggin' well like and damn the torpedoes. Loosen up b'y.