Muskrat Falls financed at excellent rates, says Jim Prentice

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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CIBC vice-chair and former Conservative minister credits Nalcor, government

The numbers available on the financing of the Lower Churchill project look good, nay excellent, according to former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice — now senior executive vice-president and vice-chairman at CIBC.

Jim Prentice

On Tuesday, it was revealed the $7.7-billion energy infrastructure megaproject — with a hydroelectric plant at Muskrat Falls in Labrador, with transmission to Newfoundland, throughout the island and then on to Nova Scotia — had secured both federal support and $5 billion in financing, on a 40-year term at 3.8 per cent interest.

“Firstly, I think the Muskrat Falls project is an exceptional project for Newfoundland and for the country, and it will significantly, will entirely green the electricity system in Atlantic Canada. So the leadership behind that has really been exceptional,” Prentice said, whan asked about the financing earlier today.

“It will be a multi-generational investment that’s extremely important in Atlantic Canada and in the country.”

Prentice has issued public support of the Nalcor Energy-led project for years now, including earlier this year  at the Noia oil and gas conference in St. John’s.

Having cheered the project for some time, the CIBC executive was asked if the financing came simply as expected.

“I was certainly optimistic about the capacity to finance the project. I think that optimism has been borne out,” he said.

“The project will be financed in the market at really excellent rates and it’s a fine investment for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

He would not speak to the exact numbers, but reiterated his positive view of them.

“I think Nalcor and the province have been able to achieve rates that are quite advantageous. I think the financing has gone very well,” he said.

More from the feature interview with Jim Prentice to come in the next 12 hours at thetelegram.com, or see tomorrow’s print or digital edition.

 

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Organizations: CIBC, Nalcor Energy

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Muskrat, Atlantic Canada Nova Scotia Ontario

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Recent comments

  • Who financed Muskrat Falls?
    December 12, 2013 - 15:32

    I wonder did Premier Dunderdale secure the financing for the Muskrat Falls contract in Japan, the Worlds 3rd largest GDP Economy? Japan entered a deflationary economic period in 1998, the Bank of Japan's interest rate has been set at Zero (0%) or just slightly above Zero for the past 15 or more years now.

  • david
    December 12, 2013 - 13:57

    1) Debt secured by the power of taxation is the ultimate security. Add in our oil reserves, and the banks got themselves a bullet-proof 40-year asset. 2) I hear the place settings on the Titanic were exquisite. Didn't help, did it ?

  • Maurice E. Adams
    December 12, 2013 - 13:52

    While the Governor of the Bank of Canada is saying that measures over the coming couple of years will have to take into account of "deflation". 3.8% locked in for 40 years may not be so good. It is also "blended" --- how? and it does not cover the last 10-15 years of payments on the transmission line from Labrador, which will be re-negotiated after 40 years