March 24, 2016 is the day on which Nalcor hosts its Annual General Meeting. This
is a good day for Ed Martin to step down, as Nalcor CEO.
Ball is testing the forbearance of the Newfoundland and Labrador public not
having given the failed CEO a well-deserved push at the start of his tenure.
After all, as Head of Nalcor, Ed Martin has overseen the evaporation of a great deal of public money, now counted as billions; the exact amount is a moving target. The
Muskrat Falls project is only around 40% complete.
that Ball indicated the intent of the EY Review “is not to make changes in the
administration at Nalcor” and, in a ham-fisted way, stated that “there is no reason
not to have confidence” in Nalcor management. Ed Martin might have thought otherwise, but by any measure, this is hardly a ringing endorsement of the CEO’s
if the qualified support was accompanied with an enumeration of milestones
achieved, money saved, or major decisions taken. It is not as if Martin had discovered even something as essential as a project schedule.
contrary, Ball only has evidence of a mega project in serious trouble. Stated the Premier: “Given cost overruns, schedule changes and baseline updates…it is
prudent for the provincial government to review the project’s cost and schedule…”
for Ed Martin will say the decision to proceed with Muskrat was in consequence
of a directive given by former Premier Danny Williams and final sanction under
Premier Cathy Dunderdale. They argue Martin is just a public servant executing
the mandate he was given.
scheme, was the one who oversaw all the projections including demand, oil price forecasts, and other assumptions on which the project was justified.
It was Martin who ran an opaque Agency, one determined to cut independent assessment of what he, in conjunction with SNC Lavalin, had contrived.
Martin who ignored the risk of proceeding in the absence of a resolution to a
challenge, by Hydro Quebec, of the Water Management Agreement.
Martin who provided the politicians with then highly suspect, now clearly
underestimated, project costs.
Martin who proceeded with construction, spending tens of millions of dollars, seemingly in a race to a point where there could be no turning back on the project, even in the absence of a deal with Nova
Scotia. Knowingly, Martin allowed himself to be backed into a corner, and forced to sweeten the deal
(at the insistence of the NS UARB), just to trigger the the Federal Loan Guarantee.
Martin who hired an unsuitable and unqualified project management team.
who refuses to subject the North Spur to a panel of independent engineering
experts in spite of the fact that Canada’s most preeminent hydro engineer, James
L. Gordon and others, like Dr. Stig Bernander, have made repeated calls for that process to be employed
fearing dam safety issues associated with “quick clay”.
Martin who hired Astaldi, a company new to Canada; one that had not previously worked in
winter conditions. Today the Company oversees a virtually dormant work site, as Nalcor’s
fixed costs including highly paid management and other site expenses, continue to mount.
Martin’s leadership that the project schedule fell into disarray and project estimated
costs ran to $9.05 billion. The figure, Nalcor states, was “established in September
2015…” as if to give the public warning there are more overruns to come.
|A dormant work site at Muskrat Falls (Nalcor Photo)|
cares to read the latest Muskrat Falls Report, released March 15, 2016 for work
conducted to the end of January, 2016 they will find the site of the Generating
Facility not just, for all intents and purposes. shutdown they will see Nalcor
claiming as progress a monument to waste; demolition of the unnecessary and unused Integrated Cover System, known as the “Dome”.
And, as one senior engineer noted, another monthly Report has been produced in which no mention is made of the project schedule!
Real project engineers do not make such an omission.
Related to this Post:
ED MARTIN: THE JIG IS UP by “JM”
ENGINEERS BREAK SILENCE ON PROBLEMS AT MUSKRAT FALLS
Falls constitutes a financial tragedy of monumental proportion for the
Treasury and economically for our entire society. Ours is a place facing not only high
unemployment and higher taxes, but a doubling of electrical costs. This is a
burden that will be imposed on two generations and inhibit any serious attempt at economic diversification.
If the project costs continues to spiral out of
control, as many qualified engineers predict they will, progress on the deficit achieved after supposedly tough decisions are taken in the Budget, will be placed in jeopardy.
Williams, Cathy Dunderdale, Tom Marshall, and Paul Davis, all co-players in this Muskrat folly, are gone from power.
CEO is a hanger on. Yet, his only claim is that of poster boy for secrecy, cost overruns, information “spin”, and for a mega project gathering world-wide attention, and not
for any good reason.
Group Reports, prepared for the PUB following DARKNL, to get an independent
appraisal as to how poorly the Province’s electrical system has been managed.
together with the state of the Muskrat Falls project and all that it portends
for Newfoundland and Labrador society, constitutes an indictment of Ed Martin, and
the role he has played, as Nalcor CEO.
He should, today, use the Annual General Meeting of the Crown Corporation as a platform to apologize to the people of the Province for his role in the debacle, and step down.