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Contractor testifies at Muskrat Falls Inquiry about cost of project delays

Project manager Tim Harrington, working with Cahill-Ganotec, was called to the witness stand at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry Wednesday.
Project manager Tim Harrington, working with Cahill-Ganotec, was called to the witness stand at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry Wednesday. - Contributed

Cahill-Ganotec feeling knock-on effects from schedule changes

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Tim Harrington is a project manager with Cahill-Ganotec, a construction partnership created to bid for work on the Muskrat Falls project.

The Cahill Group and Ganotec partnership was awarded a contract to “supply and install mechanical and electrical auxiliaries Muskrat Falls,” more commonly referred to as the “balance of plant.” They are the powerhouse outfitters, and Harrington says they’ve worked well, with a good relationship with Nalcor Energy’s project management team.

He described good dialogue between the owner and contractor, and said he hasn’t found the Nalcor team to be micromanaging or over-managing.

The Cahill-Ganotec package is one of the last parts of the construction of the new hydroelectric power plant. The company is one of the last in, with a first monthly report to Nalcor in July 2017.

“We’re actually tracking under our approved contract amount right now,” Harrington said, with the amount at $201 million.

But there was a caveat, given project delays have occurred under other contractors, leaving the Cahill-Ganotec team handling the fallout — staffing changes, an inability at times to access work areas, changes in procurement times.

There will be added costs, but it’s a question of what exactly they will be.

Harrington said the company is waiting for Nalcor Energy to provide an update on its schedule and milestones, following the forced change in powerhouse contractors last year, from Astaldi Canada to Pennecon.

At this point, Cahill-Ganotec has put Nalcor Energy on notice that it plans to file for a change order covering costs it believes are related to the shift in schedule since early 2018. A preview of that claim was provided to Commissioner Richard LeBlanc, as a confidential exhibit for the inquiry.

At last update, in February, Nalcor Energy said the project’s major milestones are staying put and the overall estimated cost still stands at $12.7 billion, including interest, with no expectation of a change.

Meanwhile, LeBlanc added a brief bit of commentary when excusing Harrington from the stand on Wednesday afternoon.

“I’ve heard lots of things about Muskrat Falls. I’ll just say it’s a bit refreshing to hear something that’s positive,” LeBlanc said. “You guys seem to know what you’re doing. And I appreciate your time this morning.”

ashley.fitzpatrick@thetelegram.com


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The Muskrat Falls Inquiry (Phase II)

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