12 June 2011

Muskrat Falls timelines “unlikely to be achieved”: external review

An external expert review of the Muskrat Falls project warned Nalcor and the provincial government that the project’s schedule is unrealistic, according to documents obtained by Canadian Press.

As Canadian Press reported on Sunday:

Provincial Crown corporation Nalcor Energy has set next October as the timeline to complete 60 to 70 per cent of required engineering and have local staff in place ahead of ground-breaking next spring in Labrador.

"Experience suggests it is unlikely this can be achieved," says the review, released by Nalcor Energy.

"If it is not, the implementation of the contract strategy gets off to a bad start based on a pattern of unrealistic objectives."

The expert panel – whose members have international experience in megaproject design, planning and risk management – also noted concerns about on-site safety.  Nalcor chief executive Ed Martin agreed that local construction projects don’t compare well to international experience in site safety. 

CP quotes Martin:

""Compared to some other parts of the world, we don't compare that well," he said in an interview at his office in St. John's.

That's a fact, so we have to improve on that."

Martin also acknowledged the project is already behind schedule although he claimed it was a matter of weeks and not months.

- srbp-