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Teamwork and dedication brings The Link to completion

With all towers standing tall and strung with conductor (wire), construction is complete on the Labrador – Island Transmission Link (LIL). The High Voltage direct current transmission line that stretches from Muskrat Falls to Soldiers Pond is the first of its kind in the province and is ready to deliver power to the island from Churchill Falls next year.

LIL construction kicked off in October 2014 and presented to be no small feat given the remoteness of the transmission line route and the province’s rugged terrain and challenging weather. But Valard Construction and its crews proved up to the task, safely constructing the 1,100 km transmission line in just more than three years.

“This is a major achievement for the project that would not have been possible without great teamwork and dedication from the project team, Valard, the IBEW, workers, and the many communities who supported us along the way,” says Pete Whelan, the Project Manager of Overland Transmission with the Lower Churchill Project. “We are one step closer to fulfilling our commitment to deliver power from Churchill Falls mid next year.”

Valard also constructed the 500 km of High Voltage alternating current transmission line that runs from Churchill Falls to Muskrat Falls. This line was completed in 2016.

During the construction of both transmission lines, Valard hired 848 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians many who were new to the transmission line construction industry and were trained by the company. Today, more than half of those Newfoundlanders and Labradorians hired for Lower Churchill Project transmission line construction continue to work for Valard today on other transmission projects.

“Providing local qualified tradespeople with the essential skills required to build 1,600 kilometres of transmission line while also maintaining a strong commitment to safety is something we are extremely proud to say we have been be part of,” says Don Murphy, Business Manager with IBEW 1620. “We value the relationship we have built with Nalcor and the common goal we shared to foster a strong safety culture across the project.”

With the transmission line construction complete, workers will now change their focus to completing the commissioning work that’s required to energize LIL in 2018.