Canada utility names financial adviser to 2,824-MW Lower Churchill

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro named Price Waterhouse Coopers to provide financial advisory services for the utility’s 2,824-MW Lower Churchill hydroelectric project.

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro said the value of the contract was about C$10 million (US$9.5 million). Price Waterhouse Coopers was one of ten firms responding to a request for proposals.

The consultant will provide independent advice on an optimum financing strategy for the project, which would include two power plants, 2,000-MW Gull Island and 824-MW Muskrat Falls, on the Lower Churchill River in mainland Labrador. The project’s capital costs could range from C$6 billion to C$9 billion (US$5.7 billion to US$8.6 billion).

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro announced in late July it has begun preliminary engineering work at Gull Island and Muskrat Falls and along potential transmission routes. The field activity, including surveying, exploratory drilling, and seismic investigations, will continue until November.

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro said it is working to complete the task with engineering consultants selected from a separate solicitation for proposals for engineering support services: SNC Lavalin, Fugro Jacques Geosurveys Inc., and a consortium that consists of Hatch Energy, RSW Engineering, and Statnett.

The field investigation work is in addition to ongoing environmental baseline studies being performed separately in the project area by Minaskuat and AMEC environmental consultants.

Canada Environment Minister John Baird announced in June that an independent review panel would conduct an environmental assessment of the project. (HNN 6/6/07)

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