07 June 2012

Emera waiting on Nalcor for numbers #nlpoli

Wonder no more, dear friends.

Stop  scratching your chin.

Now we know why Nalcor and Emera have not signed a deal now some four or five months after saying they were so close to finishing their negotiations that they didn’t need to set a new deadline.

Nalcor hasn’t sent Emera the latest numbers on the project costs, according to the Chronicle Herald.

During a meeting with The Chronicle Herald’s editorial board, [Emera president Chris] Huskilson said Emera hasn’t received the full costing for its end of the project from its partner, Nalcor Energy, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Crown-owned utility.

Huskilson also told the CH editorial board that he had not heard of any cost over-runs.

“Not to our knowledge” Chris Huskilson said Tuesday when asked if there was any truth to statements in the Newfoundland House of Assembly by the political opposition that the price tag of the project could hit $8 billion, compared to the original estimate of about $6 billion.

Now that’s interesting because even Kathy Dunderdale has said – NTV video link -  within the past couple of days that people can expect costs for the project to be more than the original projections. As the Telegram reported:

“Labour costs have gone up, capital costs have gone up, so the numbers are certainly going to go up, but don’t forget, all the alternatives are going up for the very same reasons,” she said.

As the costs increase, she said, it’ll be important to look at the other benefits of the project.

If they are trying to switch the talk of “other benefits”, then you can expect that costs have gone by quite a bit.

You can also see quite the disconnection between the Premier and reality when she talks about the need to build a line to Nova Scotia to get electricity out of Labrador. There are no markets for expensive electricity from Muskrat Falls and Dunderdale’s talk of 5,000 megawatts of wind is just bizarre from a province where the energy company dismisses wind power as unreliable.

Asked about the deal in the House on Wednesday, natural resources minister Jerome Kennedy said a deal with Emera is close.  In fact, he said:

I can tell the member opposite that the term sheet and the agreements are very close to being finalized.

Close only counts in hand grenades and horse shoes.