The half dozen firms invited to submit expressions of interest in the project are Bechtel, black-veatch, Hatch, MWH, SNC-Lavalin and URS.

The 2.8GW Lower Churchill would include two plants – Gull Island (2000MW) and Muskrat Falls (800MW). They are expected to generate 16.7TWh of electricity per year.

Nalcor Energy said the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the scheme has just been submitted and the review is expected to be completed next year.

Last year, when noting the positive development of agreement between the provincial Government and Innu Nation, it was hoped that the project could be sanctioned this year. In announcing the EIS submission, Nalcor Energy said that a 10-year construction period was envisaged.

The utility is the lead agency in development of the scheme. It is the parent company of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (NLH) and the Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp.