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Cost of multi-billion dollar Labrador hydro project continue to rise:minister

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Newfoundland and Labrador’s natural resources minister says the cost of the multi-billion dollar Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project has gone up while construction work has fallen even further behind previous forecasts.

Siobhan Coady told the provincial legislature that an interim report prepared by EY, formerly Ernst and Young, has concluded that current material risks aren’t reflected in a forecast done last September which has also been characterized as “not reasonable.”

The previous forecast said the project was another 10 per cent over budget and wouldn’t be generating power until 2018.

Coady says the government expects a new schedule and cost reforecast for the project will be completed by the end of May.

The most recent cost estimate provided by Nalcor pegs the total cost at $9.2 billion — $7.653 billion for the generating facility and transmission lines and $1.577 billion for the Maritime Link portion built by Emera.

Coady says EY will deliver a final report once cost estimates have been reforecast.