April 4, 2005
(Executive Council)

Premier Williams pleased with response to Request for Expressions
of  Interest and Proposals on Lower Churchill development

Premier Danny Williams says the response to the province�s request for Expressions of Interest and Proposals (EOI) for the development of the Lower Churchill was very successful in terms of attracting a wide variety of proposals, with 25 proposals being received in total. The joint initiative, targeting national and international business communities, was launched by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (NLH) on January 10, 2005 and closed on March 31, 2005.

"This represents the first step towards fulfilling our government�s commitment to develop the Lower Churchill resource in a manner that maximizes benefits for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador," said Premier Williams. "Our decision to issue the EOI was very strategic, because we know that we have a world-class resource, and we wanted to offer groups, consortia and governments from around the world an equal opportunity to propose their own development plans for the Lower Churchill. Each and every proposal is unique, and I am delighted with the response we have received. We will look at every plan and determine which best suits this government�s objective of developing this project with meaningful and maximum benefits for the people of the province."

The premier indicated that some of the proposals are for a comprehensive development plan, while others are for specific project components, such as equipment supply, engineering services, equity investment, environmental services and others. "Our preliminary assessment indicates that we possibly have as many as ten proposals offering a comprehensive concept, in addition to several specialized services proposals," said the premier. "However, I must caution that this is only a preliminary figure, and we will obviously have a more accurate idea once the evaluation is completed by the Assessment Committee."

Now that the deadline for submissions has passed, the process of assessment will begin. An Assessment Committee will be put into place in the coming days (as outlined in the EOI document) and will recommend which proponents will move on to Phase Two of this process, which is a feasibility review. As the assessment process proceeds, the public will be updated on developments.

"Under the terms of the EOI, we will not be releasing the names of the 25 proposals today; however, it is important to note that this is only Phase One of a multi-phase process," added the premier. "As outlined in our original EOI document, government and NLH received these proposals as commercially sensitive documents, and they will be held in confidence. When government and NLH reach a point whereby we are prepared to enter into substantive discussions with a proponent, we will release the name(s) of that proponent. I can assure the people of the province that this process will be more open and transparent than any process by any administration in the past."

The objective of the EOI was to provide a formal process for all interested parties to present their credentials and proposals for participation in the Lower Churchill hydro development. At the time of the launch, Premier Williams indicated that the process was open to all interested parties and that the government was willing to consider a wide range of proposal concepts, including the use of power in Labrador, on the island, for export or some combination of these options.

Subject to the outcome of the assessment of the proposals and expressions of interest, proponents meeting government�s criteria will be invited to enter into an agreement with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and NLH to undertake a feasibility study. Phase Two of the process will involve the feasibility assessment of selected project concepts. Following conclusion of Phase Two, negotiations with proponents of the most viable development concepts would follow. The final objective is the successful negotiation of a development arrangement for the Gull Island and/or Muskrat Falls hydro projects, on the Lower Churchill basin in Labrador.

"I am very pleased with our progress to date on this very important file and look forward to hearing back from the assessment committee, so that we can hopefully proceed towards the development of the Lower Churchill," said Premier Williams.

Additional information on the process may be found at //

Media contact: Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709)729-3960 or (709)690-5500

2005 04 04                       3:05 p.m.

SearchHomeBack to GovernmentContact Us

All material copyright the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. No unauthorized copying or redeployment permitted. The Government assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of any material deployed on an unauthorized server.
Disclaimer/Copyright/Privacy Statement