Nalcor selects preferred contractor for 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydropower project

Muskrat Falls Hydropower Project

Nalcor Energy has selected firm Barnard-Pennecon JV Ltd. as the preferred contractor for the construction of the north and south dams at the 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydropower project.

Barnard-Pennecon could start site preparation work within weeks, pending negotiations with Nalcor, in preparation of the dams' construction beginning in 2017.

The company reportedly beat Alstaldi Canada in securing the bid, though Astaldi has already been selected to construct Muskrat Falls' powerhouse and spillway. Astaldi was awarded the contract in October 2013.

Muskrat Falls is to be located on the Churchill River in Labrador, downstream from the existing Churchill Falls project. It is one component of the Lower Churchill complex, which could also eventually include the 2,250-MW Gull Island plant.

Nalcor Energy awarded a $170 million contract to Andritz Hydro in February to supply turbines and generator units for the project after Muskrat Falls received the official go-ahead from Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale in December 2012.

The project has been controversial throughout its development, though multiple studies have defended it as the least-cost option for future power generation.

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