Premier can't say when Muskrat investigation begins

We 'attempted to hand it over,' SNC-Lavalin says of report

Published on June 27, 2017

Premier Dwight Ball and Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady speak to the media Tuesday about recent public comments by former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin.

©Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

The war of words between the past leadership of Crown corporation Nalcor Energy and the Liberal government has flared up again over Muskrat Falls, with the premier still not ready to commit to any immediate, formal investigation of the project.

Premier Dwight Ball spoke to reporters at Confederation Building this afternoon, responding to comments made by former Nalcor Energy CEO Ed Martin in a statement last night and subsequent interviews today.

Martin said he was well aware of risks around the Muskrat Falls project and takes responsibility for costs while he was at the helm, but would not automatically accept responsibility for any and all costs since his exit and replacement.

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He also said he had not seen a risk assessment on the project, made public by the premier last week. The 2013 assessment cites billions of dollars in potential cost overruns and a generally heightened risk of project overruns, for a variety of listed reasons.

The premier had said he received the report last week, from current Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall, but could not say where and when Marshall had obtained it.

Today, he said Marshall received the risk assessment report from SNC-Lavalin as a result of inquiries about the project costs.

“I was told that SNC-Lavalin presented it to the former CEO,” he said, later clarifying that news came from SNC-Lavalin.

The Telegram made inquiries with SNC-Lavalin.

“I can confirm that we produced a report, in 2013, and that we’ve attempted to hand it over to Nalcor,” said media relations rep Louis-Antoine Paquin. “When we were asked for this report we provided it.”

SNC-Lavalin continues on the project as part of the integrated management team, with Nalcor Energy.

Meanwhile, Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady said she has been involved in directing documents at Nalcor to be secured for a future investigation, while consulting on what it might look like.

When asked for an estimate on when an inquiry, forensic audit, or other action might come, as committed, the premier could not say.

Neither Nalcor Energy CEO Stan Marshall or project lead Gilbert Bennett were available today for questions.