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Nalcor working on ‘plan B’ for Labrador-Island Link

Nalcor Energy CEO and president Stan Marshall at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry in St. John’s on Wednesday.
Nalcor Energy CEO and president Stan Marshall. - Joe Gibbons file photo/The Telegram

GE making progress on software: Stan Marshall

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Nalcor Energy says it’s working on a “plan B” for the Labrador-Island Link (LIL), should the main contractor fail to deliver the needed software. 

In question period on Monday, Opposition House Leader David Brazil raised the matter and Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady confirmed there is a “plan b” in development. 

In a statement, the Crown corporation said CEO Stan Marshall is pleased with GE’s progress on the software, despite the delays.

“Nalcor has been advising the public of the challenges it has experienced with GE Grid's work on the software for Labrador-Island Link for several months. Last month, Mr. Marshall visited Stafford, England, to meet with GE to assess their work,” reads the statement.

“When assessing risks to such large, critical projects, it’s prudent to consider backup plans, which we did in this situation. We considered qualified contractors who might take on the work 'if needed' but are not putting that plan into action at this time. Our focus is on allowing GE to complete its work and bringing power to our customers.”

The software in question would manage electricity on the lines from the Muskrat Falls project.

The software needed to operate the LIL is expected to be delivered to Nalcor by January, and from there troubleshooting will take place to ensure the software functions as it should. 

Marshall has stated it could be two to three years before the software is bug-free. 

Premier Dwight Ball noted because of the delays with the software needed for transmission, progress with the generating station at Muskrat Falls has caught up to the progress on transmission lines for the first time in the project’s history. 

Ball says the delays with the software have not caused the cost of the project to increase beyond what has been budgeted. 

“Right now, it’s important for the group to make sure that if GE fails, there would be contingency in place. I want to reiterate that this is in the scope of the current budget that’s in place,” said Ball.

“The backup plan is being worked on now with a different company, just in case GE fails.”

The $12.7-billion megaproject was originally budgeted at $6.2 billion and was scheduled to be completed in 2017.

Twitter: @DavidMaherNL


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