12/03/2013 11:11 EST | Updated 02/02/2014 05:59 EST

Nova Scotia says conditions in place for federal loan guarantee on Maritime Link

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government has signed the indemnity agreement that will allow the federal loan guarantee to go ahead for the Maritime Link portion of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.

Energy Minister Andrew Younger says the agreement protects the federal government from financial risk as a result of actions taken by the province, such as changes in policy or regulation.

Younger says the loan guarantee will help reduce the borrowing costs of building the $1.5-billion subsea link between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and will save taxpayers $250 million over the life of the project.

Younger also announced amendments to the Maritime Link Act that supports the Utility and Review Board's decision to approve the project and gives it full authority to ensure the project complies with all board conditions.

The changes also authorize the use of Crown lands to build the subsea cable.

Younger says an agreement finalizing the land's use is expected to be concluded soon.