17 February 2009

Lower Churchill EIS released

NALCO released the environmental impact statement for the Lower Churchill project on Tuesday.

The environmental review will not be completed until 2010/2011, marking yet another slide back in the project timelines since 2005/06.

The project will take a decade to complete.

Current estimated cost  - for two dams and the feed to Churchill falls - is $6.5 billion according to the EIS.  This seems low.  Some media are reporting an estimated cost of $10 billion which is closer to cost estimates based on other hydro projects described in the recent study of Hydro-Quebec by the Montreal Economic Institute.  The $6.5 billion does not include the cost of the line to the island.