George Murphy Question Period (12.04.2012)

MR. SPEAKER: The Member for St. John’s East.

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The MHI, page 71, third paragraph, states that Nalcor will sell power to NL Hydro under a take-or-pay arrangement. We are supposed to get 40 per cent of that power. That means consumers could end up with having to pay for the power if they do not use it. That is my interpretation.

Question: Nalcor is selling this for a fifty-year arrangement; will the minister make public the details of the take-or-pay arrangement?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Natural Resources.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. KENNEDY: Mr. Speaker, I cannot say I totally understand the question, but I think what it relates to is the issue of whether or not we are going to use the 40 per cent of the power. Well, Mr. Speaker, we know that by 2017 and 2019 there will increased peak demand for approximately 200 megawatts of power that we have to find somewhere. Mr. Speaker, again, as the Premier said earlier: Do we need the power? Yes.

Mr. Speaker, the question then becomes: What are we going to do about it? If we are going to need power, we either have to build Muskrat Falls or close Holyrood. We are going to close Holyrood, Mr. Speaker, which means, right away, we are going to use power. The 40 per cent of the power will certainly be utilized on the Island portion of the Province. There will be power purchase agreements in place, Mr. Speaker, and those power purchase agreements are standard, I understand, in the way these matters are dealt with.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The Member for St. John’s East.

MR. MURPHY: Mr. Speaker, it is obvious the Natural Resources Minister cannot answer the question. I will ask the question again in a different way.

Mr. Speaker, the taxpayers and ratepayers are at risk with the Muskrat Falls deal under the take-or-pay arrangement. If we sign on to a fifty-year take-or-pay arrangement for the selling of the power, what happens if we do not meet the demand forecast for the power, for the people who are going to be buying this 40 per cent? Will the ratepayer and taxpayer be left on the hook for paying the difference that could amount to millions? It is a simple question.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Natural Resources.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. KENNEDY: Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, a couple of basic points; one, we are going to need power as a Province no matter what; two, we are going to be paying electricity bills no matter what; three, if we continue to burn oil at Holyrood, we are going to pay a lot of money to offshore oil companies.

Mr. Speaker, the doom and gloom that comes from Eeyore and the group over there is not what we see over here. We see a Province that is going to bustle, that is going to grow, that is going to provide a future for our children and grandchildren. That is the difference between us and them, Mr. Speaker.

Share this page: