Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that the governments of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia have agreed on the terms for a federal loan guarantee for the Lower Churchill Projects. These projects will contribute to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. The Prime Minister made the announcement in Happy Valley-Goose Bay accompanied by Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Darrell Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia.
"This loan guarantee will not only create jobs and economic growth for people in Atlantic Canada, but will also provide a stable and sustainable source of energy for the region," said Prime Minister Harper. "The Lower Churchill Projects will receive the support they need to move forward, which will have significant economic benefits as well as environmental gains due to a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."
The federal government is prepared to guarantee project debt to help the proponents finance the following projects: the Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Generation Station and three transmission projects (Labrador Transmission Interconnection, the Labrador-Island Transmission Link and the Maritime Transmission Link). The federal loan guarantee will lower the costs of borrowing for the proponents, with projected savings of over a billion dollars for ratepayers in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.
As a whole, the projects will make a major contribution to meeting Atlantic Canada's future energy needs by providing a clean, reliable and abundant source of energy. The Muskrat Falls facility is expected to generate 4.9 million megawatt-hours (MWh) annually. In addition to reducing up to 4.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which according to estimates is the equivalent of taking 3.2 million cars off the road, the Lower Churchill projects will result in an average of 1,500 jobs during each year of construction with peak employment during construction of approximately 3,100 people. They will also generate $1.9 billion in earnings for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The signing of the loan guarantee term sheet for the Lower Churchill River Projects builds on the Government of Canada's commitment to support energy projects that have regional or national significance, economic and financial merit, and significantly help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.