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June 26, 1998
(Mines and Energy)

The following is being distributed at the request of the Labrador Hydro Project, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro:

Engineering contracts awarded for Churchill River Power Project

Premier Brian Tobin announced today the awarding of two major engineering contracts for the Churchill River Power Project. These contracts, valued at approximately $1.8 million each, are for feasibility studies of the proposed Muskrat Falls development and the Churchill Falls extension.

The Muskrat Falls feasibility contract has been awarded to a joint venture of SNC-Lavalin Inc. and AGRA Monenco Inc. A large portion of the work will be carried out using personnel from their St. John's offices. Under the joint venture agreement a consortium of local consultants will also provide services on the project including SGE Group Inc., Newfoundland Design Associates Ltd. and QuadraTec Inc. The SNC-AGRA joint venture is a 50/50 arrangement. Both companies have well-established offices in St. John's.

The contract to study the feasibility of the Churchill Falls extension has been awarded to a joint venture of Rousseau Sauve Warren Inc. (RSW) of Montreal, Quebec and EDM Consultants of Corner Brook. Consultants on the project will include St. John's-based Newfoundland Geosciences Ltd. and AE Consultants Ltd. which has offices in St. John's and Grand Falls-Windsor. Additional companies involved with the work include Plaveco Gerance Ltd. and LaSalle Consulting Group of Quebec. Over 50 per cent of the total study cost for the RSW-EDM joint venture is for services provided by EDM and other Newfoundland subcontractors. The head office for this project will be located in Corner Brook.

"I am very pleased with the progress of work on the Churchill River Power Project. The environmental field work is under way with five contracts awarded last week and several more set to start within the next few days. This announcement marks the start of engineering work that will provide us with information we need as we move ahead in our discussions with Hydro-Quebec," the premier said.

Chuck Furey, Minister of Mines and Energy, said: "The companies selected to undertake these important engineering studies not only have the capability and experience to do the work but have also committed to working from a base within this province. I'm very pleased to see this activity begin and the many professionals and associated field staff getting to work in Labrador."

The contracts were awarded on a competitive basis. Requests for proposals (RFPs) were issued in May. The RFP documents were prepared by Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (NLH) with the aid of Hydro-Quebec (HQ). In addition, NLH and HQ jointly agreed on evaluation criteria for the proposals.

SNC-Lavalin Inc. and AGRA Monenco Inc. are Canada's two largest engineering contractors with established offices in the province. The joint venture of SNC-AGRA brings together experienced engineers, scientists and technicians from this province.

The RSW-EDM team brings more than three decades of experience in the execution of studies and detailed engineering for underground hydroelectric generating facilities. Members of the project team have worked on underground facilities including the existing Churchill Falls Generating Station.

NLH and HQ announced on March 9 that they will spend up to $20 million to study the feasibility of developing the Muskrat Falls site. If developed, the site is projected to provide a capacity of 800 MW. The Churchill Falls extension would include a new generating station containing two 500-megawatt turbines. This would provide an additional capacity of 1,000 MW to the current capacity of over 5,400 MW at Churchill Falls. In addition, the proposed Gull Island hydro development would add a projected capacity of 2,200 MW.

Contact: Karen Humphreys Blake, Labrador Hydro Project, (709) 737-1823.

1998 06 26 8:45 a.m.

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