EY Report Muskrat Falls: Minister’s bland assurances gloss over risks ahead

NDP Leader Earle McCurdy says yesterday’s comments from the Minister of Natural Resources following the release of EY Assessment Report reveal a government that is in denial about the risks ahead.

“The Premier announced the EY review in December 2015 saying it would “open the books” on Muskrat Falls”, said McCurdy. “We’ve seen no such thing. In fact, the EY review had a very limited scope – no examination of the North Spur, methylmercury, or the finances of the project. I for one draw no comfort from the EY report.”

The EY report states that the project still has a high level of risk associated with construction activity and expenditures, complexity of the work ahead, and the approaching winter season.  Additionally, the report shows that there is still no date for first power from Muskrat Falls.  The original date was 2018, then changed to 2020 with no new date provided as part of the June 2017 re-baseline of costs and schedule.

“This report is 18 months too late to do anything about the Muskrat Falls project.  The Liberal government had a real opportunity to do a stop-go analysis in early 2016 and they squandered it,” added McCurdy.”

Since the Liberal government was elected the project costs have ballooned to over $10 billion and schedule delays, contracting issues, and engineering issues continue to dog the project and have the potential to add billions more to project costs.

“The EY report is hardly an independent review of Muskrat falls. It’s more of a post-mortem when what was needed was a prognosis and recovery plan,” said McCurdy.

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