News release

Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador Finalize Benefits Memorandum

NOTE: A social media version of this release with Hi-res, downloadable photos, audio clips and a video is available at http://gov.ns.ca/news/smr/2011-11-28-Lower-Churchill/

Nova Scotians will have access to thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts related to the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project thanks to a memorandum of understanding between the governments of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador announced in Sydney today, Nov. 28.

"This development is a game-changer for Nova Scotia, and the entire Atlantic region," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "The finalized agreement sets the stage for Nova Scotia companies and workers to access opportunities in this enormous project."

The memorandum outlines the industrial and employment benefits from the three projects that make up the $6.2-billion Lower Churchill development: the Muskrat Falls generating facility, the Labrador Island transmission link and the Maritime Link. It provides Nova Scotia companies with an opportunity to compete for all components of the development with preference for Newfoundland and Labrador on the first two projects and equal access to jobs for Nova Scotia workers on the Maritime Link.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government anticipates a number of project-related employment opportunities for its province and the region. The MOU ensures Nova Scotians will have access to these opportunities.

"The development of Muskrat Falls will provide tremendous employment, economic, and environmental benefits for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, while providing valuable business and labour income for the entire region and country," said Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Natural Resources Jerome Kennedy.

"Muskrat Falls provides the opportunity to strengthen the region's energy future by ensuring greater choice of renewable energy supply, reduced reliance on thermal generation, and increased electricity trade within the country and the United States."

The Maritime Link alone will provide 2,700 person years of employment. This agreement means that Nova Scotia firms and their workers have equal standing with Newfoundland and Labrador firms in bidding for contracts on the Maritime Link.

"The entire island of Cape Breton will benefit from this clean energy project and the partnership of the two governments," said Jim Paris, president of the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce. "With the 180-kilometre transmission link entering Nova Scotia right here in Cape Breton, there will be opportunities for local business people to take advantage of this wonderful resource on our doorstep. That alone will create significant employment."

Emera will hold supplier information workshops in the new year for companies interested in working on the project. The province will also work with the Maritime Energy Association to ensure Nova Scotia companies have the information needed to compete for the project.

"Like the $25-billion shipbuilding contract and jobsHere, our strategic plan for economic growth, the Lower Churchill project is helping to change the economic landscape of Nova Scotia for the better," said Premier Dexter. "Never before has the province had so many great opportunities on the horizon with such vast potential to create jobs and grow the economy."

For more details and to view the complete MOU, please visit www.gov.ns.ca/energy/renewables/current-activity/hydro.asp .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotians will have access thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars of contracts on the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project as a result of a memorandum of understanding between the governments of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The memorandum was announced by Premier Darrell Dexter in Sydney today (November 28th).

Premier Dexter says the agreement sets the stage for Nova Scotia companies and workers to access opportunities in this enormous project.

The memorandum outlines the industrial and employment benefits from the three projects that make up the 6-point-2-billion-dollar Lower Churchill development: the Muskrat Falls generating facility, the Labrador-Island transmission link and the Maritime link.

It provides Nova Scotia companies with an opportunity to compete for all components of the development, and Nova Scotia workers with equal access to jobs on the Maritime Link.

The Lower Churchill project will also provide the province with clean, renewable electricity at stable rates for 35 years when it is completed in 2017.

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Media Contacts:

Janet Lynn McNeil
Executive Council 902-237-4287 E-mail:
Tracy Barron
Department of Energy 902-424-1757 Cell: 902-497-3414 E-mail:
Heather MacLean
Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources 709-729-5282 Cell: 709-697-4137 E-mail:
Jeff Myrick
Emera Newfoundland and Labrador 709-722-3274 Cell: 709-727-4754 E-mail:
Joyce MacDougall
Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce 902-578-8499 E-mail: