29 October 2009

Lower Churchill “unviable for the foreseeable future”: analyst

Energy analyst Tom Adams had this to say about the Lower Churchill project in a recent commentary on the NB Power sale:

Premier Williams has attacked Quebec’s interest in NB Power as a threat to Newfoundland’s prospects for developing the Lower Churchill’s hydro‐electric potential. Charged with emotion arising from historic Churchill Falls grievances – a contract that Newfoundland’s then Premier Smallwood sought out and willingly signed and that has been twice confirmed by the Supreme Court – Premier Williams imagines inter‐provincial intrigues to be Quebec’s motivation. This emotionalism blinds some Newfoundlanders to the real commercial challenges to the Lower Churchill’s development. Just as natural gas from the Mackenzie delta is now recognized as uneconomic in light of foreseeable market conditions, the factors that have driven down power prices in Northeastern North America make the economics of Lower Churchill development unviable for the foreseeable future. Newfoundlanders are lucky that Nalcor, their Crown energy company, is not out in the market the trying to sell high cost power right now. [Emphasis added.]

Unfortunately, NALCOR and Danny Williams didn’t get Adams’ memo. Premier Danny Williams revealed yesterday that NALCOR is out there trying to flog high cost power from an economically unviable project.



Peter said...

And Ian Doig said Hibernia would never fly. Oh, those crazy experts! At least he's not one of those goofy poli sci guys.
Also, a minor point I've missed myself: Joey didn't "sign" any contract.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Peter jackson, is it?

or that pseudonym fro the Telly?

Ian Doig had his own issues and, if you were to be honest, even John Crosbie and others involved thought it might easily be a total bust at the time. The project was a huge risk for all concerned.

As it turned out, the gamble paid off and thanks to the negotiating skill at the time, the current administration is reaping huge royalties and they never had to do a thing to get it.

Not bad, eh?

In this case, "Peter", you could easily do the math yourself and check some facts to confirm that Adams is closer to the turth than anything coming from official sources in this province.

And no, Smallwood didn't sign the 1969 Churchill Falls contract. There are plenty of things people believe that aren't true.