New estimates put Muskrat Falls project at $7.4B
CTV Atlantic: Deal made in Muskrat Falls project
Published Tuesday, October 30, 2012 2:12PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 30, 2012 2:13PM EDT
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador's premier says the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project remains viable despite increased capital costs.
Kathy Dunderdale made the comments today as her government released higher cost estimates for the development.
The megaproject in Labrador is now forecast to cost 7.4 billion dollars -- up by 1.2 billion dollars from its last estimate two years ago.
The government says the new price tag includes higher capital costs for improvements such as the design of the dam and powerhouse, and stronger transmission towers.
Dunderdale says the project would generate enough revenue to cover its costs, including the repayment of debt.
She says at peak construction, it would employ 31-hundred people, and the government is expecting it to generate power in 2017.
The government must still sanction the project and it is finalizing a loan guarantee from the federal government that would cut down on borrowing costs.
Provincial Crown corporation Nalcor Energy says it's recommending the province sanction Muskrat Falls.
Critics of Muskrat Falls says it is a risky venture and question whether it's the cheapest option for Newfoundland and Labrador's future energy needs.