26 March 2008

Two positions are better than one

Danny Williams, on the impact of tight financial markets on major development projects in Newfoundland and Labrador:

"There are some great projects, there is a possible oil refinery, these projects will be slowed down a little bit based on of course just the financial situation now that's going on worldwide and indeed in North America,'' he said in yesterday's [Tuesday, March 25, 2008] interview.

Danny Williams in his own statement disputing that, issued 26 March 2008:

"Despite credit market conditions, I am confident that our projects have a bright future,'' Williams said today in an e- mailed statement. "With the exception of the recent announcement by Newfoundland and Labrador Refining Corporation concerning its proposed refinery for Placentia Bay, we are not aware of any pending delays or slowdowns as a result of tightening global credit market conditions.''

Observations:

  1. Note that the Premier referred to the credit crunch affecting projects - plural - not a single project in his  interview.
  2. The problem with the Lower Churchill is a lack of power purchase agreements, said agreements being the crucial element in making the financing possible.  Hence his comment on Wednesday is accurate at least in so far as it relates to that project.
  3. There is obviously a lesson here that, as flattering as it is to be interviewed by a leading financial news outlet, one must be careful about ones words, especially when they would be picked up by someone back home. The yokels have access to the Internet.
  4. The full implication of Williams' Tuesday comments is simple:  things are going to slow down in Newfoundland and Labrador for an unspecified period of time.  That's essentially the same comment he's been making about the Lower Churchill, for example, for months now.
  5. The full implication of the new comment:  Same as the first comment.  Saying that the projects have a bright future does not contradict the original statement.  The future is a long time. The projects may come to fruition at some point in the future, just not when previously announced.

-srbp-

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