Canadian government to provide loan guarantee for Muskrat Falls hydroelectric station on lower Churchill River in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as three transmission lines

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland and Labrador! , August 19, 2011 (press release) – The Harper Government today announced it will provide or purchase a loan guarantee for the lower Churchill River clean energy projects. The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, supported by the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, was in St. John’s today to sign the Memorandum of Agreement.

“As promised, the Harper Government will provide a loan guarantee for the lower Churchill clean energy projects,” said Minister Oliver. “The projects are great news for Canada. It is estimated that they will generate total employment of 18,400 person-years in Newfoundland and Labrador and 47,800 person-years across Canada. They will provide a significant boost to the economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The lower Churchill clean energy projects involve the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric generating station and three transmission lines. The projects will help reduce up to 4.5 megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in Canada and generate up to $3.5 billion in economic benefits.

“Today’s agreement is an important step to realizing the full potential of one of North America’s most ambitious clean energy projects,” said Minister Penashue. “Coming from Labrador, I know that these projects are of great importance to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. They will generate up to $3.5 billion in economic benefits.”

“Our government knows that a strong Atlantic Gateway is key to the economic prosperity of the entire Atlantic region,’’ said Minister Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Today’s announcement is a critical component of our Gateway initiative and demonstrates the importance our Government attaches to creating highly skilled jobs, developing clean energy and positioning Canada for long-term prosperity.’’

Today’s announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s commitment to support clean energy projects of national or regional significance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As outlined in the Memorandum of Agreement, the federal government is retaining financial advisors to complete due diligence analysis. The purpose of due diligence is to assist the Government of Canada in the implementation of the Memorandum of Agreement. The Request for Proposal for financial advisors is posted on the Government Electronic Tendering Service (MERX) and will close on September 6, 2011.

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