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N.L.'s Muskrat Falls hydroelectricity project delayed again, this time until May 31


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Final commissioning for the beleaguered Muskrat Falls hydroelectricity project in Newfoundland and Labrador has been delayed once again.

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro told the province's energy regulator in a monthly update on Jan. 14 that ongoing software issues will push the date of final commissioning to at least May 31.

The Crown corporation says it is waiting on a software update for the Labrador-Island Link, a 1,100-kilometre power line connecting the Muskrat Falls generating facility in Labrador to a power station near St. John's.

The software has been causing delays for some time, with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro first telling the Public Utilities Board in October the original Nov. 26, 2021, final commissioning date was no longer achievable and had to be pushed to March.

Muskrat Falls is already years overdue and its cost has nearly doubled from an estimated $7.4 billion when it was sanctioned in 2012, to about $13.1 billion as of September 2020. 

A Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro spokeswoman said in October the project is accruing about $1 million a day in interest and financing charges.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2022.

The Canadian Press