Industry needs Muskrat Falls: Alderon chairman

Daniel MacEachern
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— Telegram file photo

The mining industry needs to do a better job selling Muskrat Falls to the public, says Alderon’s executive chairman, but not all of the iron ore company’s shareholders agree.

Alderon executive chairman Mark Morabito said Wednesday the province’s proposed Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project is crucial to the company’s $989-million Kamistiatusset project, which the company predicts will create 1,500 full-time jobs — 480 at the mine and concentrator in the Labrador Trough, the rest indirectly through local service and support industries.

“Power’s definitely the biggest issue for us,” said Morabito after Alderon’s annual general meeting Wednesday morning at the Sheraton Hotel in St. John’s.


“There is enough power to start our project’s first phase without relying on power from Muskrat, but we need another transmission line in from Churchill, because Lab West is just completely tapped out. It has been for years, but our project’s going to push it over the top. We need that transmission line to be put in place,” said Morabito.

Alderon’s Kami project isn’t the only one, said Morabito.

“All of the new up and coming projects in the Labrador West area, and there are a number of them, if they’re going to become mines and generate significant revenue to the province, which they do when they’re on stream, they’ll need that power,” he said. He added that the whole mining industry has been too quiet on Muskrat Falls. “I include myself as well. We haven’t done a good job of explaining to the public just how important that power development is to mining development in Labrador. And I truly believe, and I think the numbers demonstrate this, that Labrador is the new Hibernia.”

The chairman said Labrador’s onshore resources are the future of the province.

“I think 20, 30 years from now there’ll be any number of mines up there, generating billions of dollars of tax revenue that’ll benefit mostly the island,” he said. “That’s where everybody lives in Newfoundland and Labrador. So that’s schools, hospitals, roads, you name it. We’re talking big revenue, but none of it’s going to happen, none of it, without power.”

But a shareholder at Wednesday’s meeting said he doesn’t think it’s the mining industry’s job to make the case for Muskrat Falls, pointing to Morabito’s statement in a press release Tuesday applauding provincial government’s “vision and foresight to develop the Muskrat Falls power project.”

“As an investor, frankly, I don’t care where the power comes from for a project,” said the shareholder. “And as we both know, the Muskrat Falls project has become very political. And I really have difficulty when a company that I own a small piece of, when its leadership makes political statements.”

The shareholder, who said he considers himself Conservative politically but has doubts about the feasibility of the Muskrat Falls project, said he’s reconsidering his investment over the matter.

“It’s one thing if Muskrat Falls were built and they said we’re going to be their first customer and so on and so forth,” he said. “This project hasn’t even been sanctioned. Why are they involving themselves in the political process?”

He’s also worried about the project’s $6.2-billion price tag (Manitoba Hydro’s report forecast a cost of more than $6.6 billion).

“If this thing goes over budget by, I don’t know, 25, 30, 40, 50 per cent, who’s on the hook for it? You and me. This is our money being spent,” he said. “This is not like, for example, Fortis, owner of Newfoundland Power, doing a project. They would make a determination and me as a shareholder can determine whether I want to be part of that project by buying their stock. We don’t have a choice here.”

The investor said the appointment of Danny Williams — who announced the Muskrat Falls project before he stepped down as premier — to Alderon’s board raises questions for him about the mining company’s endorsement of Muskrat Falls, but Morabito said Alderon would be pro-Muskrat Falls either way.

“Whether Danny came on board or not wasn’t going to change our view,” he said.

Williams, who attended the meeting, said Alderon is in favour of the project because it’s good for the development of the province’s mining industry, not because he’s on the board.

“If you look at the total projects that over there, not looking at Alderon alone, estimates have been between $10 (billion) and $15 billion worth of new revenue to the province,” he said. “If we don’t have the juice or we don’t have the power there, well then those companies that are looking over there are going to be looking westward for Quebec power. So the irony of that is we’d end up basically fuelling their mining projects with the power that they’ve got from us in the Upper Churchill, so it makes really good sense to have the Lower Churchill and to have Muskrat Falls developed.”

Twitter: TelegramDaniel

Organizations: Sheraton Hotel, Lab West, Hibernia Newfoundland Power

Geographic location: Muskrat, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec

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Recent comments

  • a business man
    June 10, 2012 - 19:21

    I am in support of Muskrat because I am told that as a corporation, I will get cheaper energy. I have made my position clear to the government. If I don't get cheaper energy here, I will move the company to get cheaper power. Honestly, I am small potatoes, I employ so few people in NL that I doubt the government cares if I say or go. But I along with other business have indicated we want cheaper power, even if ratepayers have to subsidize it. So the government either finds a way to deliver cheaper power, or prepares itself to companies like mine to move jobs in retaliation to high energy costs. The choice is simple, and as an investor, I could care less where I get the cheaper energy as long as I get it and that leads to more money in my pocket. People need to start understand that corporations create the jobs, and investors create jobs to make money, not to provide jobs.

    • McLovin
      June 14, 2012 - 07:51

      Don't let the door hit you on the way out!!!

  • a business man
    June 10, 2012 - 19:19

    I am in support of Muskrat because I am told that as a corporation, I will get cheaper energy. I have made my position clear to the government. If I don't get cheaper energy here, I will move the company to get cheaper power. Honestly, I am small potatoes, I employ so few people in NL that I doubt the government cares if I say or go. But I along with other business have indicated we want cheaper power, even if ratepayers have to subsidize it. So the government either finds a way to deliver cheaper power, or prepares itself to companies like mine to move jobs in retaliation to high energy costs. The choice is simple, and as an investor, I could care less where I get the cheaper energy as long as I get it and that leads to more money in my pocket. People need to start understand that corporations create the jobs, and investors create jobs to make money, not to provide jobs.

  • Mr. Jamison, what we are trying to do is guard against Bankrupting our province from the humongous debt of developing Muskrat Falls.
    June 10, 2012 - 09:07

    Mr. Jamison, what we are trying to do is guard against Bankrupting our province from the humongous debt of developing Muskrat Falls. From what you wrote Mr. Jamison, I assume your type of governance would be to rule with spite and to punish those not on the side of the ruling party. You stated in your comment to this article that the commentators' conduct was totally disgusting and it will be remembered when Muskrat Falls comes on line and saves them from oil's massive price increase, which is coming real soon. You said the PC party will run this province longer than it has ran Alberta and they will have no one to thank but themselves". By the way MR. JAMISON Democracy is not supposed to be spiteful, it is supposed to be the best form of government that can be found and it is supposed to treat its subjects more equally. The Federal Government has not given us equality over the past 63 years and you are proposing that if the provincial PC party runs as long as the Alberta PC party we will be punished, this is shocking to me, but yes you are truthful because that is the way we have been governed in this province for 63 years now. The party in power always rules with an iron fist and those MHAs or MPs not on the side of the ruling party will get ZILCH for their districts! That is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong and not WHAT we expect of our ruling parties and their leaders in a so-called democratic government. Also Mr. Jamison how can you say that Oil will become very expensive in the future? The World Political Powers have been trying to get the economies on line, since they fell of the cliff in 2008, it has been a failed experiment ever since, but then again they are dealing with debt and what they need to deal with debt is MONEY and that is what the World is short off. It behoves me how they are going to solve the problem and if the World's Economic woes remain unsolved, how in the Name Of Creation are we going to keep the price of commodities elevated, and if we do who is going to be able to buy them with no economy percolating? We are witnessing now governments trying to beat down the wages of the ordinary workers and to me it appears they want to eradicate Unions altogether. If the World's economic woes are successfully cured without the benefit of having wads of cash to so, and we do know the malaise has been created because of countries holding gargantuan debt or lack of cash, it will have been a feat of dexterity and a Miracle.

  • Tim Jamison
    June 09, 2012 - 15:06

    I always see so many civilians discussing this project, acting like engineers and other sorts of electrical professionals. It's all baloney. It's liberal mob mentality and slander and I'm not buying it. This propaganda campaign was designed to seize power from the conservatives. It was used as some sort of Excalibur in the last election. And it failed. Horribly. The people clearly voted for Danny's plan and it will go ahead as planned. All you liberals kicked and screamed and the people voted in the PCs anyway so that shows you how much the people care about what you have to say (in a accurate, numerically represented fashion, if you wish to dig out the election results). This project will provide us with electricity from the most stable source there is, running water. The cost of the running water, unlike the oil we currently use, will never increase to prohibitively expensive levels. This plan is incredibly smart and it is an excellent way to make an endrun around Quebec's stranglehold on OUR PROPERTY. Why are all you lieberals betraying your province and fighting for Quebec anyway? Your conduct is totally disgusting and it will be remembered when Muskrat Falls comes on line and saves us from oil's massive price increase, which is coming real soon. The PC party will run this province longer than it has run Alberta and you'll have no one to thank but yourselves.

  • What is driving down wage of the little folk like fishers and paper mill workers, while resource development costs are escalating exponentially?
    June 08, 2012 - 07:51

    What component is making costs rise for resource development by our Newfoundland and Labrador Government, like this Muskrat Falls Project, when wages for the little unimportant folk like fishers and paper mill workers are being pushed down by the Corporations? Another example is the cost of building a bridge in Placentia which has risen from $25 Million to about $50 Million. What the hell is really going on, I can't figure it out? This enigma needs immediate attention. Could it be the developers, who seem to be lurking around the development of our natural resources who appear to have been part of the political scene of either the Federal, Provincial Govenments and the Senate. I have heard names touted about but I am reluctant to reveal them, that should not be my responsibility. They appear to be the ones who will be cashing in on those lucrative ventures, that revenue from the taxpayers of Newfoundland and Labrador and the province's Oil will be responsible for servicing. An investigation needs to be performed on what appears to be going on at the surface, or else the province of Newfoundland and Labrador will face bankruptcy within a very short time if matters are allowed to proceed.

  • Kenny
    June 08, 2012 - 00:14

    I get it ! If the word Occupy is mentioned the corporation that owns this paper, part of the 1%, has its employees programmed to delete any comment relating to such. too bad journalists lack the backbone to defy the masters orders! and make this world a better place...

  • Kenny
    June 07, 2012 - 23:59

    Nfld. has been raped and pillaged by the kings and queens and their lords and governors and then the "democratic" gov'ts who continued to rape and pillage and made themselves and friends richer. Unless we all OCCUPY and say enough is enough, 1% will continue to get richer and the other 99% will scramble for crumbs,

  • John Smith
    June 07, 2012 - 15:53

    So basiclly what the naysayers want is for us to stay tied to middle east oil, which we paid about 150 million for last year, refurbish the old plant in Holyrood, which will cost about a billion by the time all is said and done, and continue polluting the atmosphere with non-renewable oil, or even gas. Don't provide the energy needed to grow our economy, tell the mines in labrador to buy their power from quebec, and continue to stand by and watch as our energy rates go through the roof. How sad and short sighted can people be?Don't invest in the muskrat falls project, don't pay into our own resource, don't make between 200 and 400 million a year in revenue, don't have Emera pay for a connection to the mainland, don't make use of the loan guarantee. Nope, just keep watching as our bills get higher and higher, and the smoke keeps belching from holyrood, it must put a smile on the Saudi oil princes when they hear about the opposition to this deal. Yep, if you are on the side of Hydro Quebec, or on the side of the Saudis then you should oppose this deal...because they are the ones who statnd to make the most if we don't go ahead with it. The rate payer will be the biggest loser, as we will have to foot the bill.

  • Great post Maggie
    June 07, 2012 - 15:23

    Maggie Carter, a great comment by you as usual. Oh yes, where has that Government sponsored lapdog Smitty been hiding all day?

  • Eli
    June 07, 2012 - 15:06

    Don II writes, "It appears we have no shortage of fools and madmen running the governmant of Newfoundland and Labrador". Well said sir. You could have added women to that, Lord knows there's enough of 'em in there. Trouble is they're all too god-damned embarassed by now to surrender to whatever common sense they might have had. Kennedy can hardly throw in the towel again after his surrender from accusations made at The Hughes Inquiry. Relieve us Father from this millstone.

  • Jack
    June 07, 2012 - 12:48

    Since Alderon is a subsidiary of Altius Minerals, when does Alderon have a right to make these comments? If Alderon wants to make a comment on Muskrat Falls, it should be done through its owner, Altius Minerals.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    June 07, 2012 - 12:16

    Here is the ACTUAL Total Island Peak Demand (MW) cut and paste from Nalcor sources from 2002 to 2011 inclusive:---- 1,592, 1,595 1,598 1,595 1,517 1,540 1,520 1,601 1,478, 1,544.......... Yearly average:--- 1,558 MW..... So 2011 peak demand is again almost 1 full percentage point BELOW our 10 year average....... WHERE IS THE DEMAND?.... Vale at peak only needs about 85 MW (about 4.5% of our ALREADY EXISTING INSTALLED NET CAPACITY OF 1,958 MW ---- more than 400 MW of which is UNUSED year over year, every year (almost the total NET capacity of Holyrood)....... We will be paying for power for Nova Scotia and the multi-billion dollar mining companies of Labrador ---- power that WE DON'T NEED.

  • Don II
    June 07, 2012 - 12:13

    Swiler Old Boy showed us an example of the unintelligible bureaucratic legalize that nobody will understand or benefit from. To put the Muskrat Falls project in perspective, I will simply say that gullible Newfoundlanders are being misled by Government propaganda in preparation for the Government and their corporate buddies to take the people to the "cleaners" once again. As usual, Newfoundlanders can and will be easily tricked and enticed into backing this crackpot project. In the end, when approval is rammed through and the project is built, it will be many tens of millions of dollars over budget and will require the charging of very high rates for the electricity to pay for the cost of this crazy project. The environmental and social damage that will be done to people in Labrador will be astronomical and irreversible. The project will create only a handful of permanent jobs. The main benefactors will be the owners of corporations who obtain contracts to build the project and the customers in Nova Scotia and New England who will get cheap electricity subsidized in perpetuity by the tax payers of Newfoundland. This project will be a repeat of the Upper Churchill Falls project with Newfoundlanders getting taken to the "cleaners" once again.

  • Hopefull
    June 07, 2012 - 11:45

    By reading most of these comments I am realive that there are so many people who feel the same way that I do about this horrible MRF project, we all have to stick together on this one. Its for the future of our chrildren and grandchildren.

  • Same old same old
    June 07, 2012 - 11:25

    Yyaaawwwwnn. Nothing new here, yet again. Just the same old propaganda from the same old posters.

  • Edward Power
    June 07, 2012 - 10:43

    Only in Newfoundland and Labrador would the people who own the resource be expected to pay exorbitant prices for their own electricity to subsidize the sale of that same resource to users in the Maritimes, New England and to foreign owned mining interests in Labrador. Sorry, Labradorians, you will not avail of this resource, however your lands will be flooded and habitat destroyed to the benefit of others- mostly living far, far away. If the electricity is required for the mining industry , then they can dig into those fat corporate bank accounts and pay for it. What John Smith and friends don't, or won't, acknowledge is that mining is a cut-throat business driven by short term profits over long term gain. The Wabana mines didn't close because the iron ore was gone, they closed because it was far cheaper to scoop it out of the soil in Labrador than tunnel under the waters of Conception Bay. The same will happen with the mines in Labrador should cheaper sources be found elsewhere. So, to use John Smith's logic, we should subsidize the cost of electrical power for mining companies so that they can extract the minerals, provide a number of short term jobs and pocket the profits before they close shop and move on, leaving our children and grandchildren to pay the electric bill and cleanup costs. This is not speculation, this is fact. A Google search of the environmental costs of mining in the continental US, Canada and elsewhere will bear this out. As will the record of creative methods that these companies use to avoid paying cleanup costs, taxes and to circumvent litigation. Oh yes, I most certainly wish to subsidize the profits of Vale and friends for the rest of my earthly days....

  • Swiler Old Boy
    June 07, 2012 - 10:22

    Lab West resident and lawyer Ed Hearn, among others, has been making the argument for a number of years that the answer to the question of power shortfalls can be addressed by the authority given to the PUB under the Electrical Power Control Act., 1994 to order power produced in the province (ie. at Churchill Falls) to be re-allocated. Here are the relevant provisions: Inquiry by board where shortage anticipated 7. (1) Where a producer or a retailer believes that it may not be able to supply power sufficient to satisfy the current or anticipated power demands of its customers and prospective customers in accordance with the power policy set out in section 3, it may request the public utilities board to conduct an inquiry into the matter. (2) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may request the public utilities board to conduct an inquiry into the matter of the adequacy of supply and the ability of producers and retailers to meet the current or anticipated power demands of consumers in the province, in accordance with the power policy set out in section 3, and to report on the matter to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council within the time specified by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council in the reference. (3) Where the public utilities board believes that producers and retailers collectively or individually will not be able to satisfy, in accordance with the power policy set out in section 3, the current or anticipated power demands of consumers in the province, the public utilities board may further inquire into the matter. 1994 cE-5.1 s7 Back to Top Board to allocate power 8. (1) Where a matter is referred to the public utilities board under subsection 7(1) or (2) or the public utilities board decides to conduct an inquiry under subsection 7(3), the public utilities board shall, immediately, by public advertisement, give at least 20 days' notice of and hold a public hearing at which it shall investigate and examine into the matter. (2) Where, after the conduct of an inquiry, the public utilities board is satisfied that a producer or a retailer is not or will not be able under the existing supply and allocation contracts or arrangements to satisfy the current or anticipated demands of its customers for power in the manner required by this Act, the public utilities board may, subject to subsection 11(3), allocate and re-allocate any or all power produced in the province and may order another producer or retailer to supply, upon those terms and conditions respecting rates, timing, duration and amounts that the public utilities board determines, to the producer or retailer which would otherwise be unable to satisfy such demands power that the public utilities board considers to be necessary to implement the power policy set out in paragraph 3(b). (3) The public utilities board may, in an order made under subsection (2), require a producer or retailer to make its transmission and distribution plant, equipment and facilities available for the transmission and distribution of the power allocated or re-allocated under the order, on those terms and conditions respecting rates, timing, duration and amounts that the public utilities board determines. (4) Upon the application of a retailer, the public utilities board may make an order requiring a retailer to make its transmission and distribution plant, equipment and facilities available for the transmission and distribution of power on those terms and conditions respecting rates, timing, duration and amounts that the public utilities board determines. (5) A producer or retailer directed by an order made under subsection (2) to deliver power to another producer or retailer shall, within the limits of its capacity, deliver power to the other producer or retailer on the terms and conditions set out in the order notwithstanding that the producer or retailer may as a result have to reduce the amount, or cease the delivery altogether, of power then being supplied to another customer or the amount of power then being consumed for its own use. 1994 cE-5.1 s8 Back to Top Compensation for power 9. (1) The rates to be paid by a producer or a retailer supplied with power under an order made under subsection 8(2) for that power shall be set by the public utilities board and shall be the total of (a) the amount of the cost of producing the power as determined by the public utilities board; (b) a reasonable allowance for employed capital as determined by the public utilities board; and (c) the amount sufficient to amortize over a period approved by the public utilities board the unamortized cost of any and all transmission and distribution plant and other power-related equipment and facilities of a producer and its customers rendered unusable or surplus by reason of the order of the public utilities board for so long as that plant, equipment and facilities remain unusable or surplus due to the continuation in effect of the order or a substitute order of the public utilities board. (2) A producer receiving a payment for power under an order made under subsection 8(2) which includes an amount in respect of the unamortized cost of transmission and distribution plant and other power-related equipment and facilities of its customer rendered unusable or surplus by reason of that order shall, immediately upon receipt of the payment, remit that amount to that customer. (3) Where an order of the public utilities board made under subsection 8(2) requiring a producer or retailer to supply power is likely to affect the interest of a holder of security given by the producer or retailer, or by its customers in connection with the obligations of the producer or retailer, in respect of the former sale of the power to be re-allocated, the public utilities board may (a) on the request of the producer or retailer, its customer or a security holder, make it a condition of the order that the security holder be given security by the producer or retailer or the customer receiving the re-allocated power, or both, to the extent and in the manner that the public utilities board determines to be substantially the same as the security then in effect; and (b) on the request of the customer who has ceased to receive the re-allocated supply, make it a condition of the order that the customer receiving the re-allocated supply give to such customer an indemnity, to the extent that the public utilities board determines to be appropriate in the circumstances, from liability under any guarantee or other covenant given by such customer in relation to an obligation to purchase the power directed to be re-allocated.

    June 07, 2012 - 10:13

    If people read Maurice Adams' comments to this site nobody, not even John Smith, (Tony the Tory) would back the government's stance on the Muskrat Falls debacle. Mr. Adams written words on the facts come directly from NALCOR's own compiled statistics, you might say right from the Horse's Mouth.

  • Cold Future
    June 07, 2012 - 10:03

    Industry needs Muskrat but would be unwilling to pay higher that the industrial rates for its power. This would translate into a present subsidy of about 20 to 25 cents per kilowatt hour- not a bad deal if you can get some fools to agree to it. What's wrong with the Muskrat? Quebec is building Romaine at $3 million per MW (about 9 cents per KWH after transmission). $ 6 billion for Muskrat ( 200MW giveaway to NS at $2 billion omitted) gives $10 million per MW or about 27 cents per KWH. Government wants to build ahead for the grandchildren on specualtion that we can sell the surplus power for a fair price. Can anyone see any risk in that? Staying isolated Island until the 2041 and Upper Churchill power returns seems to have a lot less risky and a lot more favourable economics to it for the NL consumer. The more outside interests favour this project the more fear the NL consumer takes away from it (or should ).

  • Ash Parker
    June 07, 2012 - 10:01

    Don II. I think the horse is well ahead of the cart on this issue. Really! It is about time we, as Newfoundlanders, start being proactive and plan for things before we are hit in the face with something and not prepared for it. It will be too late for us when our demand for energy exceeds our supply. I think it is time to trust the expertise involved in forecasting our future needs and get on with the Muskrat project.

  • Jeff
    June 07, 2012 - 09:58

    It is painfully obvious why Danny Williams is pushing for Muskrat Falls and if he thinks Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are stupid, he has another thing coming. Revenue for this province? More like revenue for Alderon and the other mining companies! Ratepayers will be subsidizing power for Lab mines and these companies!! OUTRAGEOUS! While many are still enthralled and enchanted by him and his life story, many more are (now) seeing what this whole thing is really all about. Muskrat is for the mines, not for "least cost option" to power the island or for anything else! And to say it's about not forcing the mining companies have to get the juice from Quebec is as lame a rationale as anything I have read or heard about this whole incredible situation! It is becoming clearer, people, while Muskrat costs RISE and WE WILL be on the hook for this!! (I better be careful, though, what I say in my public comment on public policy because I wouldn't want to be threatened with a lawsuit.)

  • Don II
    June 07, 2012 - 08:52

    The Government of Newfoundland has a well documented history of putting the cart ahead of the horse. In the 1950's and 1960's the Government funded a chocolate bar factory without having access to local supply of milk, sugar and cocoa. The chocolate bar factory failed. The Government funded a rubber tire factory without having access to a local supply of natural rubber trees or petroleum to make rubber. The rubber tire factory failed. The Government funded a wool knitting factory without having access to a local supply of sheep's wool. The wool knitting factory failed. The Government funded a hydroponic cucumber factory without having a market for the cucumbers. The cucumber factory failed. Now Newfoundland has huge supplies of milk, wool, oil and agricultural expertise but no chocolate bar, rubber tire, wool knitting or cucumber factories. Without huge markets and signed long term contracts for cheap electricity from Muskrat Falls the project will fail and bankrupt the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is what happens when you elect and hire arrogant people who have vested interests, are in conflict of interest and do the bidding of a handful of business elites who stand to make huge profits from ill considered and poorly planned Government mega projects and economic development schemes. The Government of Newfoundland has forgotten the failures of NALCO and the chocolate, rubber, wool and other factories in the 1950's and 1960's. The Government is now setting the stage for the spectacular failure of NALCOR at Muskrat Falls! Only a fool or a madman never learns from his past mistakes or fails to listen to objective advice. It appears that we have no shortage of fools and madmen running the Government of Newfoundland.

    • FYET
      June 07, 2012 - 09:47

      We shall see later this afternoon what the CRA polls have to say about our current political party. If it doesn't look favorably on them they can attribute it directly to their ignorance of the fact that the people DO NOT WANT THIS yet it is somehow being forced upon us.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    June 07, 2012 - 08:51

    Nalcor advises Holyrood did not operate at capacity at all in 2011. It supplied only about 12% (885 GWh) of the island's total energy needs in 2011 (while Nalcor spilled the energy equivalent of 694 GWh of energy over the island existing island hydro dams in 2011 (about $80 million worth of island energy wasted while our high paid engineers and managers at Nalcor spent hundreds of millions on Muskrat). Someone should be fired. Over the last 8 years Holyrood --- in the worst winter months --- only operated on average at 50% capacity and that is down to 44% capacity of the last 6 years (and not at all in 2011). ------- Add to that that Nalcor's historical forecast accuracy/reliability for the island total island demand over a 10 year period OVER-FORECAST demand at an average of 110 MW per year (8 times the industry error rate standard of 1% annually). ------ WE DO NOT NEED THE POWER, and by Nalcor's own words, the viability of Muskrat depends on sales to captive island ratepayers.

  • FYET
    June 07, 2012 - 08:36

    The people need a voice in this matter! This project and it's cost is leaving a bitter tase in the mouth of the general public but the concerns are falling on deaf ears. As a young newfoundlander I know that I won't be sticking around to foot the bill for this. The last one out can turn off the (very expensive) lights. Again, thank you Maruice Adams to your dedication and providing a voice of reason.

  • Hand Over FIST
    June 07, 2012 - 08:23

    In my opinion, if the Province needed this, then we'd never, ever get it. This government has done nothing only use our oil money to buy its way out of things. Now they are downloading a 8-10 billion project to 500,000 people for almost sixty years on a project that will replace holyrood thats only used 25-35 % time in only peak periods. we'll replace holyrood and basicly give 70% of the power away to ALLOW others to become rich and leave us the crumbs (I.E). selling power for less than a quater then it takes to produce. We need a Small boat to help the province get to when the Upper Chruchill contract expires and what does Nalcor and the dunderdale conservatives do?.....come back with an aircraft carrier. If this gov wasn't so secretive and had their homework done we wouldn't even be at this stage. But sadly like harper, dunderdale and Nalcor wants to impose this change and debt to the people and ask questions later, at ANY COST. We're not going to see anything on this investment for Muskrats Falls for almost 60 years. MRF is THE LOOP HOLE. And we are already living out and are subject to someones dreams from the 1960's. The future is NOW not when we are long gone!

  • Maggy Carter
    June 07, 2012 - 08:22

    According to John Smith, you're 'utterly stupid' if you support converting Holyrood to burn clean, cheap LNG to meet our electrical needs until we get the Upper Churchill back and/or until the Lower Churchill can pay its own way. So I have a suggestion. If this Muskrat deal is so great, why not allow the public to decide for themselves. Call a referendum immediately so that the average citizen - not the special interests and the John Smiths of the world - get to decide whether we should take on an onerous 60 year mortgage so that Alderon and others like it can milk every ounce of profit out of OUR resources on the backs of the Newfoundland taxpayer and homeowner.

    • brett
      June 07, 2012 - 09:14

      Better yet, let private industry build Muskrat, and charge whatever rates they want to charge for the electricity. End the subsidization and fixing of prices. Split the generating portions of Nalcor from the billing of individuals (leave that as government) and let the new non-political Nalcor charge what they want for the electricity to the government. That thought should shut up a lot of the naysayers. Enough with the subsidized electricity. Let the naysayers freeze in the cold if they don't want the electricity so badly.

  • John Smith
    June 07, 2012 - 08:16

    It's funny to read the naysayers comments here on this site. If you are a frequent reader of these comments, as am I, you will notice that the comments agaist the development are made up of innuendo, lies, and completely fabricated information. If someone has allegations to make, or an argument agaist the deal, then they should have something to back up their claims...should they not? Does it make sense to comment about conspiracies, and collusion, and the like without any reason? Do people like Maurice really think that the men and women who work for Nalcor, most of them proud NL people, really want to stand behind a project that will be bad for the province? That our premier, and the others are purposely trying to undermine the economy of the province? My god people...get a grip! The people at Nalcor are charged with making sure we will have power 5 to 10 years down the road, they looked at the options and this one made the most sense...simple. Most people would be ecstatic that we have a company that is investing billions into Labrador, and that we need power for residents, Vale plants, mines building GBSs etc. But no...not here. Let's just stagnate, sell it all to Hydro Quebec, close her down...sit on the wharf and wait to die while everyone else moves away....seems to me that's what the naysayers's not what I want.

  • George S.
    June 07, 2012 - 08:16

    Smells like the fibre optic deal c2006. Awesome!

  • Bernard
    June 07, 2012 - 08:10

    Yes, and industry needs hard-working ratepayers of this province to subsidize their quest for more money and power.

  • Maureen
    June 07, 2012 - 07:48

    Every Newfoundlander should listen to Maurice, he is a very knowledgeable man, he knows what he is talking about. I hope he fights this battle to the end. This government is working for corporations, not for the everyday person.

    • Fred Penner
      June 07, 2012 - 08:52

      Maurice....Run for office! Remember though, there is only one vote from each person!

  • William Daniels
    June 07, 2012 - 07:34

    Surprise surprise. Now we will be susidizing Danny's mineral projects. Hold on tight people, the MFP is changing on a daily basis now.

  • Fools Gold
    June 07, 2012 - 07:30

    Is danny not taking a salary for this too? If it ain't oil, then its electricity, next it will ber fresh water. Atleast something got done and was the focus the last 9 years!

  • John Smith
    June 07, 2012 - 07:24

    The bottom line is the whole province needs additional power, not just the mines in Labrador. You have to have a long term vision for the province inorder to understand why it would be utterly stupid to invest billions into refurbishing Holyrood, and into blocking the last two little rivers we have here on the island. When we could tap into the larger resource, supply all that industry will need, including the up to 100 megawatts for the Vale plant, and future mining in labrador. You would have to be very shortsighted not to see how developing Muskrat would be the best long term solution. Patching up holyrood, little hydro dams here and there will cost us billions, we will still see our rates skyrocket along with the price of oil. We have seen our rates increase by 60%since 1998, they will go up8% this summer and 8 % next summer...that's 16% in two short years...yet people seem completely at ease with the rates. I guess they just don't care about it, more concerned with how muskrat will bakrupt the province...give me a break.

    • Living in reality
      June 07, 2012 - 07:58

      Yer funny John Smith. Here's some long term vision for you. Fish plants are closing left right and center, the mill in Corner Brook on its last legs, and homes are being built to consume far less electricity than ever, Demand isn't near what NALCOR predicted. More and more people are realizing that Muskrat Falls just isn't necessary. Hopefully, or politicians will pull the plug on this white elephant before they sink the province.

    • Information-Based
      June 07, 2012 - 19:54

      "Reality", the mill in Corner Brook supplies pretty much all of it's own power. If it shuts down, then that power source can either be used on the island grid, or if we had, say, a transmission link to the mainland, any excess power could be sold on the open market. That doesn't affect the need to build a sustainable long-term power supply for the entire province. Your "long term vision" is very myopic. Trouble is, without the Muskrat Falls project, we are isolated from the North American power market. Just the transmission links alone, to be able to export (or import, in the unlikely but possible case somewhere down the road) power, and participate in and benefit from increasing world energy prices, are worth going ahead with the project. Any one of a number of industrial projects are enabled and made feasible by the existence of Muskrat Falls power, and conversely are made NOT FEASIBLE if the project does not go ahead. What is the better choice for NL's future: (A) Do nothing and hope the world financial system reverses it's inevitable course and energy prices and demand go down, or (B) Go ahead with an already-studied project that will give NL the greenest and most reliable energy supply in Canada at fixed cost once built.

    • Living in Reality
      June 08, 2012 - 06:17

      'information based', you should be selling insurance with lines like that. We have more than enough capacity to meet our needs and there are no projects waiting. The better choice is to do nothing or start getting ready to plug into Churchill Falls when it expires.

    • Information-Based
      June 08, 2012 - 09:37

      "Reality", here's your plan then, in plain english: 29yrs x $150 million per year fossil fuel costs = $4.35 billion. That, in reality, is just to buy fuel for the Holyrood plant, at current fuel costs, not including the massive costs to refurbish this plant so we could continue to use it in the first place. Over the past 30 years, the price of oil has NOT stayed the same, as I'm sure you realize, and it is almost impossible to imagine the price not being much higher by 2041. It will cost less to have Muskrat Falls built and operating, even if we sell most of its power as surplus, then to just "do nothing."

  • Maggy Carter
    June 07, 2012 - 07:14

    Easy for Morabito to be pro-Muskrat. He's not a Newfoundlander or Labradorian and so it won't cost him a cent. He and his new director (who had no influence on the Alderon's support for Muskrat) want the taxpayers, homeowners and ratepayers in this province to spend $8 Billion (probably $12B before its done) so we can get $2 Billion in royalties from the extraction of our own iron ore resources. It doesn't bother Morabito (why should it?) that we will shortly be paying double to light and heat our homes so that Alderon and other highly profitable industries can enjoy electrical rates that are well below the cost of producing that electricity. Now where's that government sponsored lapdog Smitty hiding this morning? I haven't had my laugh for the day.

  • Casey
    June 07, 2012 - 07:13

    Most of you should look at joining an Optimists Club, that is, if they will let you in. If Muskrat Falls is not developed NL will be left behind! Get'er done!

  • Maurice E. Adams
    June 07, 2012 - 07:04

    So is Danny saying that island ratepayers should pay for the generation of 35-40 cent Muskrat Falls power so that we can give it to his multi-billion dollar mining companies for 2-3 cents?..... Give yourself a slap in the face Danny.....Island ratepayers do not hang on your every word and will not buy into this air-brained scheme......Island ratepayers will not be fleeced once again for another 50 and more years. ------ Quebec will sell all the power they want to the mining companies for pennies, so we should we go in debt billions and lose billions more on gifts to the mining companies to spite Quebec? I don't think so.

    • John Smith
      June 07, 2012 - 07:31

      Maurice the phrase is not is Yes, if only Mr. Williams, a self made millionaire, a Rhode scholar, successful Lawyer, and the most popular premier in Canadian history had your intellect and business accumen then all would be well. You can't keep on denying that we will need the power, and that Muskrat is the lowest cost option, when all the proof, and all the reviews, and all the experts say otherwise. Well...I guess you can...but that would be airbrained for sure...LOL

    • Bernard
      June 07, 2012 - 08:13

      Who cares about Danny's c.v., John?? You are obviously a dupe who is too enamoured with that. Danny is on Alderon Board. Alderon wants Muskrat Falls to be developed so it can power their mining projects. Who was the architect of Muskrat Falls? Why is this all being rammed down our throats? Think man!

    • Bernard
      June 07, 2012 - 08:31

      " it makes really good cents to have the Lower Churchill and to have Muskrat Falls developed." That is what that should read.

    • Eli
      June 07, 2012 - 09:02

      The most popular premier in Canadian History is/was Alberta's Peter Lougheed.

  • Our politicians and bureaucrats have to engineer the development of our naturals resources so as to create Social and Economic equality for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, not just for the politicians, bureaucrats and outsiders.
    June 07, 2012 - 07:03

    Why are we developing our natural resources, in the case of which I refer to here, Hydroelectric and Iron Ore, when the only ones who are to benefit are the politicians, bureaucrats and the countries which are destined to get the iron ore in the raw state? The beneficiary countries of our raw resource will create the vibrant economies, like what has happened in the past with all of our natural resources. We, the rate payers of hydro and tax payers of Newfoundland and Labrador, are the ones who will pay for the development of Muskrat Falls over an unconventional time span of 57 years. Besides, the shortfall of monies to pay for the Mortgage on Muskrat Falls will have to come out of the revenues for the Oil. We are fully aware by now of the mistakes we have made in the past that shipping out raw resources is the equivalent to shipping out the economy. It has also resulted in shipping out our people, who should have been working the economy and building our population base right here in Newfoundland and Labrador, ever since we have existed in this hauntingly beautiful place.

  • Had enough
    June 07, 2012 - 06:37

    Why would Alderon care where the power that they will need for the project comes from? Electricty is electricty. regardless of the source. Power for mines in Labrador could by supplied at a muchlower cost to the NL ratepayer than saddling ratepayers with a multi-billoon dollar project. Build transmission capacity from Quebec at a fraction of the cost, let the mining companies pay their own way for power, and the citizens of NL will still reap royalty benefits. It's a win-win for all. Alderon's endorsement of one particular project stinks of politics.

  • Elim
    June 07, 2012 - 06:36

    When this Morabito guy was speaking (on TV) I was thinking, blackmail. And when Danny Williams talks faster than one can listen you have to know the province is on the hook for something. In Eurpoe people would be on the streets.