ARCHIVED - Harper Government Announces Final Loan Guarantee for Lower Churchill Projects

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December 10, 2013

ST. JOHN’S — The Honourable Rob Moore, Regional Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), on behalf of the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced the finalization of the federal loan guarantee for Nalcor’s Lower Churchill projects. Minister Moore was joined by the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Andrew Younger, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Energy.

“The Lower Churchill projects will create jobs and economic growth for people in Atlantic Canada, while substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Minister Oliver. “The federal loan guarantee will not only provide a stable source of clean energy for the region, but will also save over $1 billion for ratepayers in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.”

“This is an important step towards realizing the full potential of one of North America’s most ambitious clean energy projects,” said Minister Moore. “The Lower Churchill projects will generate major economic benefits and create thousands of high-quality jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

“Our government stands up for the stabilization of power rates and energy security for our region and country,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Federal Justice Minister, Attorney General of Canada and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia. “The benefits of this loan guarantee will be passed on directly to ratepayers in both provinces. As a Nova Scotian, I view this loan guarantee as the single best thing the federal government could do for ratepayers in my province.”

The federal loan guarantee will apply to up to $5 billion of project debt for Nalcor’s Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Generating Station, the Labrador Transmission Assets and the Labrador–Island Transmission Link. An additional $1.3 billion of debt for the Maritime Link will also benefit from the loan guarantee when the agreement is finalized for that project. The guarantee will lower the costs of borrowing for the proponents, with projected savings of over $1 billion for ratepayers in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

“The Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development will establish Newfoundland and Labrador as a leader in clean, renewable energy and secure significant economic and employment opportunities that will benefit not only this province, but Atlantic Canada and the rest of the country,” said Premier Dunderdale. “This is truly a nation-building project and today’s announcement represents a strong commitment by all partners involved to move the project forward.”

The projects will make a major contribution to meeting Atlantic Canada’s energy needs while reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by up to 4.5 megatonnes per year, equivalent to taking one million cars off the road.

“The Maritime Link project will enable competition and the development of our renewable electricity market, and helps us meet the federal requirements to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Minister Younger. “We are pleased that the federal government is supporting this important regional project that will provide a clean and renewable source of electricity for decades to come.”

The Lower Churchill River Projects will create approximately 1,500 jobs during each year of construction. The Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Generating Station alone will provide approximately 3,100 direct jobs during the peak of construction. The projects will also inject more than $1.9 billion in economic activity in Newfoundland and Labrador and deliver nearly $300 million in revenue to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador during construction for critical social programs such as health care and education.

The Lower Churchill projects are a clear reminder of the crucial role natural resource development plays in creating jobs, growth and prosperity in every region of Canada.

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