Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 31/1/2011 (3183 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG - Bipole III might cost almost double its original $2.2 billion price tag, according to documents leaked to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
The spreadsheet, a revised capital estimate from the summer of 2010, suggests the Manitoba Hydro transmission line down the west side of the province will cost closer to $4.1 billion.
The increases come mostly from extra costs associated with two converter stations needed regardless of where the line is built. Those stations, always part of the original $2.2 billion estimate, have increased in cost by about 132 per cent.
But Manitoba Hydro CEO Bob Brennan said new internal estimates done last summer seemed extremely high to him, so he asked outside engineers to review the figures. That review should be done in a couple of months.
Last fall, Brennan told the Free Press costs might increase, and rumours percolated the increase might be as high as $4 billion.
Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen said Monday the provincial government has been dishonest with Manitobans by not revealing the true cost of the Bipole. Manitoba Hydro has relied on figures from 2007, even as recently as last fall during a legislature committee hearing.
McFadyen said the confusion over Bipole’s true cost smacks of "political desperation and political interference."