Nalcor Energy awards contract for construction of Muskrat Falls hydropower project civil works

Muskrat Falls Hydropower Project

Italian contractor Astaldi has been a contract worth about US$962 million for the construction of major civil works for Canada's 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.

The company, via its subsidiary Astaldi Canada, will construct the plant's powerhouse, intake and gated spillway. Astaldi said the package is the largest associated with Muskrat Falls' development and that it expects the four-year project to begin by the end of this year.

"This contract marks an important success of the group confirming both the primary role represented by Canada in the developing strategies of Astaldi and the company's commitment to the implementation of the Canadian infrastructure plan," the contractor said in a release.

The $7.4 billion Muskrat Falls project is part of the Lower Churchill complex, which could also eventually include the 2,250-MW Gull Island project. Both would be located on the Churchill River in Labrador.

The projects are being developed by Nalcor Energy, which is a crown corporation owned by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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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