POLITICS

Emera executive says word coming Friday on deal over subsea power line

01/26/2012 02:26 EST | Updated 03/27/2012 05:12 EDT
HALIFAX - The chief executive of Emera (TSX:EMA) says an announcement will be made Friday on whether a deal is in place with Newfoundland and Labrador's Crown energy company to build the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.

Chris Huskilson praised the proposed $6.2-billion Muskrat Falls project during a speech to the Maritimes Energy Association in Halifax.

He said it is part of his Emera's focus on bring renewable energy to Nova Scotia and New England through its utility subsidiaries.

However, he gave no indication if a legal agreement with Nalcor was facing further delays, saying the firms will have a joint announcement on Friday.

Under conditions of a term sheet announced a year ago, the Nova Scotia company would fund a 180-kilometre subsea link between Cape Ray, N.L., and Lingan, N.S., at a cost of $1.2 billion.

A further $2.1 billion would be spent to build a transmission link from Labrador to Newfoundland, $600 million of which would be provided by Emera.

Nalcor would spend $2.9 billion to build a power generating facility at Muskrat Falls on Labrador's lower Churchill River capable of producing 824 megawatts of electricity.

Under the agreement, Nova Scotia would get 170 megawatts of energy a year, about 10 per cent of the province's total energy needs, for 35 years.

Opposition politicians in Newfoundland and Labrador raised questions about whether the project was on track when a November deadline for an agreement was shifted to Jan. 31.