CIBC vice-chair and former Conservative minister credits Nalcor, government
The numbers available on the financing of the Lower Churchill project look good, nay excellent, according to former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice — now senior executive vice-president and vice-chairman at CIBC.
On Tuesday, it was revealed the $7.7-billion energy infrastructure megaproject — with a hydroelectric plant at Muskrat Falls in Labrador, with transmission to Newfoundland, throughout the island and then on to Nova Scotia — had secured both federal support and $5 billion in financing, on a 40-year term at 3.8 per cent interest.
“Firstly, I think the Muskrat Falls project is an exceptional project for Newfoundland and for the country, and it will significantly, will entirely green the electricity system in Atlantic Canada. So the leadership behind that has really been exceptional,” Prentice said, whan asked about the financing earlier today.
“It will be a multi-generational investment that’s extremely important in Atlantic Canada and in the country.”
Prentice has issued public support of the Nalcor Energy-led project for years now, including earlier this year at the Noia oil and gas conference in St. John’s.
Having cheered the project for some time, the CIBC executive was asked if the financing came simply as expected.
“I was certainly optimistic about the capacity to finance the project. I think that optimism has been borne out,” he said.
“The project will be financed in the market at really excellent rates and it’s a fine investment for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
He would not speak to the exact numbers, but reiterated his positive view of them.
“I think Nalcor and the province have been able to achieve rates that are quite advantageous. I think the financing has gone very well,” he said.
More from the feature interview with Jim Prentice to come in the next 12 hours at thetelegram.com, or see tomorrow’s print or digital edition.