04 July 2015

Way behind schedule #nlpoli

The reports you will likely read in the conventional media all peg the Muskrat Falls project as behind schedule.

That’s what the latest project update from the provincial government and Nalcor says.

The media reports are also citing an overall number that has the project modestly off schedule.

You need to look at the whole report.

Or for your convenience, here are the figures from a series of tables in the report.  They show just how far off schedule the entire project really is.


Mar 2015 Target

Mar 2015 Actual


MF Generating Facility








Lab transmission




North Spur stabilisation




Spillway and Gates (MF)



- 9.0

Powerhouse and Intake





The numbers in red are highlighted because the variance in March was more than double the rate in December.

North Spur stabilisation is in bold because it is also dramatically behind schedule, full stop, end-of-story.

When you read that the project – overall – is only a few percentage points behind schedule, the devil definitely is in the details.  Construction of the relatively simple stuff – the transmission lines – is all close to on track.  All the big construction items are more significantly behind schedule.

In the case of North Spur, the stabilisation of this part of the site is crucial since it is a key part of the overall design to hold back the water in the reservoir.  The report claims that every feature remains on track and will hit its targets, i.e. that the project is on time and on budget. 

Just notice one thing:  Nalcor shows the project is absolutely bang-on budget.  The budget they are using as a baseline is not the one from 2010.  It isn’t even the project cost forecast from 2012.  They are using the one from 2014.  By that time, the cost for the dam and the transmission to the island was forecast at $7.0 billion. The 2010  estimate was $5.0 billion.

Judge for yourself if you really want to believe that the whole thing is on time and on budget, based on Nalcor’s track record.