Schedule for Lower Churchill development unrealistic?

An assessment by an international team of experts suggests the schedule for the $6.2-billion Muskrat Falls development is overly ambitious. “We are concerned about the reality of the schedule,” says the review by a four-member team whose expertise includes megaproject planning, design and risk management. Provincial Crown corporation Nalcor Energy has set next October as the timeline to complete 60 to 70 per cent of required engineering and have local staff in place ahead of ground-breaking next spring in Labrador. “Experience suggests it is unlikely this can be achieved,” says the review, released by Nalcor Energy.“ If it is not, the implementation of the contract strategy gets off to a bad start based on a pattern of unrealistic objectives.” The report also raises safety concerns, warning of risks posed by transient, semi-skilled workers and what it calls an “East Coast safety culture.” Ed Martin, president and CEO of Nalcor, said the company plans to improve on the province’s industrial-site safety record, as it admittedly does not compare well to other parts of the world.

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