30 January 2012

Cost over-runs: Manitoba #nlpoli

Want to know how far off cost estimates can be for a project like Muskrat Falls?

Look no further than Manitoba where the same people who reviewing Muskrat falls for the public utilities board are in spot of bother over plans and costs and what consumers will wind up getting nailed for:

Keeyask is a 600-megawatt generating station and Conawapa is 1,360 megawatts. In comparison, the 1,340-megawatt Limestone generating station was completed in 1990 at a cost of $1.43 billion. Conawapa's cost is 5.5 times higher.

The cost of the nearly complete Wuskwatim generating station has risen from the 2004 estimate of $900 million to $1.6 billion, an astonishing 78 per cent, and shows the higher cost estimates for the proposed projects are valid.

American demand is down. 

Natural gas prices are in free-fall according to the article linked above, and as such, the price for electricity from natural gas is dropping along with it.

Anyone who thinks Muskrat Falls is somehow immune from all those considerations is just being naive.

But rest assured we are covered.  Nalcor has a 15% cost over-run built into its cost estimate of $5.0 billion for the Muskrat Falls dam and power line to St. Jawns. 

15% is greater than 78% isn’t it?

Didn’t think so.

- srbp -