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October 23, 2018

Astaldi to Nalcor: Let us get back to work on the Muskrat Falls hydro megaproject

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HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, NLOct. 22, 2018 /CNW/ – Nalcor’s sudden and unexpected work stop order on October 19has jeopardized the Muskrat Falls hydro megaproject, say Astaldi officials. By barring more than 500 Astaldi workers from their job and refusing arbitration requests, Nalcor has sent a strong signal to Astaldi’s workers — and all people in Newfoundland and Labrador — that they are not interested in finishing this project on time.

“We are proud of our role in leading the Muskrat Falls hydro megaproject to the verge of completion in Labrador, and we want to finish the job,” said Don Delarosbil, Project Manager.

“In our over 90 years as a builder, Astaldi has never walked away from a project. And even after these latest bad-faith tactics from Nalcor, we don’t intend to start now.”

Astaldi has consistently performed well in delivering on the Muskrat Falls hydro development, a major feat of engineering, since being awarded the contract in 2013. The project is running on schedule, with Astaldi meeting numerous requests from Nalcor to accelerate its work.

Despite the challenges due to the project’s size, scale, complexity, and location, Astaldi and its 4,000-plus, mostly local workers, have performed exceptionally to bring the project to the verge of completion.

Astaldi is currently awaiting payment from Nalcor on approved invoices, and has requested arbitration with Nalcor to reach an agreement on additional costs it incurred as a result of the extra work and accelerated timelines Nalcor requested. Contrary to Nalcor’s claims in their “stop work” order that Astaldi has been fully paid, Astaldi has not been fully compensated for the work done to date.

“We are disappointed that Nalcor would rather jeopardize the completion of this project, potentially adding costs and risking further delays, than settle this matter in arbitration,” said Delarosbil.

“Nalcor’s claim that this stoppage of work is to protect workers is laughable. The fact is Astaldi is well positioned to see this project through to completion. If Nalcor was genuinely interested in protecting workers, they would cooperate with the arbitration we commenced and allow the men and women hired by Astaldi to finish the project as planned.”

“We are disappointed that Nalcor has chosen to act as an adversary, rather than a partner.”

Astaldi, an Italian-based international construction company, has over 90 years of experience in the design, construction and management of public infrastructure projects and large-scale civil engineering works. With over 100 currently active projects in ItalyEurope, North and Latin AmericaNorth Africa and the Middle East, Astaldi currently employs over 11,000 people worldwide.

Astaldi has headquarters in Quebec, and has employed over 4,000 workers on the Muskrat Falls project. Fully 95 per cent of these workers are from Newfoundland and Labrador, with over 200 of the workers from Innu Indigenous communities. Since the project began, Astaldi has injected over $1 billion into the local economy and awarded $450 million in contracts to Innu-owned businesses.


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