Nalcor stating cost of power to Soldiers Pond

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Update to response to question expected ‘some time today’: lawyer

The cost of power to Soldiers Pond has come up in the second day of public sessions in the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities (PUB) Muskrat Falls review.

The question of how much power will cost at Soldiers Pond, near Holyrood, following construction under the Muskrat Falls development plan, was raised in a formal Request For Information from the Consumer Advocate (CA RFI, #27) prior to the PUB’s current public hearings.

The response to that question began: “The requested analysis does not assist consideration of the Reference Question (put to the PUB to answer in their review).”

Interim Liberal leader Dwight Ball asked for the cost of Muskrat Falls power to Soldiers Pond both during and after the radio debate on the project on VOCM Feb. 8.

This morning, Consumer Advocate Thomas Johnson raised the question again.

Counsel for Nalcor Energy interjected following Johnson’s question this morning, saying there had been a response to the initial RFI, but that response is being revised.

“There seems to be a lot of curiosity about the issue,” lawyer Thomas O’Reilly said.

He added the revised answer to the question is expected to be provided to the PUB and Consumer Advocate “some time today.”

Meanwhile, PUB counsel Maureen Greene has taken over questioning Nalcor staff on details of Muskrat Falls project from the Consumer Advocate, who closed his questioning by saying he would collect together all questions from the public to submit to Nalcor for their records.

The PUB public hearings can be viewed live.

As of 4:55 p.m. today, the revised response from Nalcor is available on the PUB website. More in Wednesday's print edition.

Organizations: Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities

Geographic location: Holyrood

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Recent comments

    February 16, 2012 - 01:49

    Danny had to resign to take his new position with the mines to make big money. The Lab mines and his project need the power, not NL. That's why the rush and secrecy and closure of the House. Lots of stateholders here want taxpayers to fund the hydro project so they can make a mint. I'd say lots in on it and probable bribes, payoffs. But if so, who is who and who is doing the bribing? Who is in on it? They're desperate to get this through. Only crooks would not answer questions or hide info with misleading answers. Perhaps we need an investigation quickly or an inquiry. It's getting serious and it looks like push is going to become shove anytime soon! Money and greed does that. I initially supported this project but not now with what I've learned. I'm disgusted with what's going on in secret and behind the scenes.

  • ron
    February 15, 2012 - 07:24

    not that i have anything against employment opportunities in our great province , but i wonder how much power will be required once the completion of mr. williams project ( the size of gander) ison tap . does this in any way configure into the rush to get muskrat falls underway.

  • Don II
    February 14, 2012 - 17:40

    Are you serious? This should not be a partisan issue. The Muskrat Falls project is NOT JUST ANOTHER CONSTRUCTION PROJECT! Get real! NALCOR will be extremely lucky if the cost over runs are ONLY 50%! I suspect that NALCOR already knows that the cost over runs will be more in the area of 75% to 85%! We are talking about a project that has never been attempted before in this area. The risks and massive debt associated with this project could bankrupt the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador or force the Government of CANADA, as the guarantor of the funding to expropriate the project. This is very serious matter. Wake up and give your head a shake before you make nonsense comments! If the Muskrat Falls project goes wrong it will make the Upper Churchill debacle look like a good deal. The PUB and the Consumer Advocate should have every opportunity to scrutinize the Muskrat Falls project. If that takes 9 months to do, so be it.

  • To Be Honest
    February 14, 2012 - 15:08

    The lack of information on the question posed makes me tremble with fear and Don II! So, are you guys actually politicians for the opposition or what!? I hope so, because otherwise, you're spouting gibberish. Typical cost estimates for projects of this nature and size at this stage have an accuracy typically of about 40% to 50%. That also includes a hefty contingency for scope growth. the accuracy improves and contingency lower as the project matures. There's no secret agenda or other smoke and mirrors game going on here.

  • Don II
    February 14, 2012 - 13:55

    The Manitoba Hydro report on the Muskrat Falls project indicated that cost over runs on the project would be at least 50%! The projected price for Muskrat Falls electricity is 25 cents per kilowatt hour. No market in Canada or the USA will pay that price. What is NALCOR up to here? It appears that NALCOR is not being up front during these PUB hearings. Something smells bad here and it is stinking more and more every day! NALCOR is being very secretive and cute. Why? Is there something to hide? The attitude of NALCOR and the Government of Newfoundland makes us very suspicious. Why do they want to ram approval for Muskrat Falls through so fast? Why doesn't NALCOR give straight forward answers to straight forward questions? Watch out folks! Something very smelly is going on here! This project will turn out to be another Upper Churchill Falls power give away or worse, will put Newfoundland in debt so deep it will never pay its way out in our lifetimes! The PUB, media and Consumer Advocate must get the whole truth from NALCOR or the Muskrat Falls project must be stopped!

    • Oh Dear
      February 14, 2012 - 15:01

      The report did not state that there would be 50% cost over runs. At this phase of any project the level of accuracy of an estimate is normally only about 40% or 50%. That's perfectly normal! Particularly for a project of this magnitude. The estimate should also include a hefty contingency for scope growth. Stop looking for issues where they don't exist. It is not a reasonable expectation and is not a requirement to educate the entire public on how capital projects are managed! There's no secret agenda here!

  • The lack of information on the question posed makes me tremble with fear
    February 14, 2012 - 11:27

    Would'nt the lack of an answer on such a pertinent question strike fear in the hearts of the Hydro consumers and the elecorate of Newfoundland and Labrador? The knowledge of what I just read makes me tremble with fear. This Project should be stopped right here and right now, until we get an "honest and accurate" cost for the Muskrat Falls Project.