Astaldi, Muskrat Falls Corp. negotiate terms to complete civil works for 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydropower plant

Muskrat Falls Hydropower Plant

The Muskrat Falls Corp. and contractor Astaldi have negotiated terms to complete construction of the powerhouse, intake and spillway for Canada’s 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydropower plant.

The Astaldi Group has been blamed for a number of delays that were cited in a lawsuit filed against the Muskrat Falls Corp. by Andritz Hydro Canada Inc. in May, in which Andritz said Astaldi needed to complete concrete foundations and other work before it could begin its work on the project.

Astaldi’s new agreement with the Muskrat Falls Corp. is worth about US$1.35 billion and establishes a new timeline for the plant’s completion. The contractor also said “all disputes and outstanding commercial items have been addressed”, though the terms are still subject to regulatory approval.

“The constructive dialogue built and developed with the client over the past years has allowed us to reach a full understanding over our contract’s objectives and timing,” Astaldi CEO Filippo Stinellis said. “The challenging work and its environment have made the negotiation process complex and we are satisfied for having reached this agreement.”

Muskrat Falls has sparked controversy throughout its development, though multiple studies have defended it as the least-cost option for future power generation.

The Canadian federal government announced it would provide a further $2.14 billlion in loan guarantees for the $8.4 billion project in November.

The plant will be located on the Churchill River in Labrador downstream from the existing Churchill Falls plant and is one component of the Lower Churchill complex that could eventually include the 2,250-MW Gull Island plant.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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