Nalcor Energy is denying claims by the main contractor at the Muskrat Falls site that discussions are underway over extra costs incurred there.

“In response to recent media statements made by Astaldi on Oct. 4, 2018, regarding its work at Muskrat Falls, Nalcor advises that no discussions are being held with Astaldi in relation to extra cost incurred by Astaldi at Muskrat Falls,” Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall said in an emailed statement. 

Marshall said Nalcor is making payments to Astaldi “in accordance with its contracts.”

He added: “Amounts owing by Astaldi to its subcontractors and suppliers are Astaldi’s responsibility.”

No discussions are being held with Astaldi in relation to extra cost incurred by Astaldi at Muskrat Falls.– Nalcor Energy CEO Stan Marshall

Marshall’s comments come in the wake of statements Astaldi made to CBC News on Thursday.

Astaldi media contact Giuliana Paoletti said in an email that the company is “in talks with our client to reach an agreement on extra cost recently incurred during the performance of our works.”

Asked to expand on the nature of those talks, Paoletti added: “Astaldi has commenced an arbitration and is making all efforts to have issues with Muskrat Falls Corporation determined on their merits. In any case, Astaldi remains committed to the completion of the project with the cooperation and assistance of Muskrat Falls Corporation.”

Muskrat Falls Corp. is the subsidiary of Nalcor, which oversees the hydro megaproject.

CBC News has reached out to Astaldi about Marshall’s comments.

Financial issues locally and internationally

A week ago, Astaldi’s parent company in Italy filed for a type of creditor protection that allows it to carry on operations.

But there is also financial trouble facing the Canadian subsidiary operating in Labrador.

Suppliers and unions have filed liens totalling $34 million, claiming that Astaldi Canada has not paid its bills for Muskrat Falls-related work.

On Thursday, Paoletti said Astaldi intends to pay “all outstanding amounts to creditors in due course.”

Muskrat Falls Corporation is the subsidiary of Nalcor, which oversees the hydro megaproject. (CBC)

Nalcor has stressed that it has has performance securities in place — for example, letters of credit and bonds — that provide financial protections in situations where Astaldi doesn’t meet its obligations under the contract.

According to Nalcor, Astaldi’s work at the site is more than 95 per cent complete.

Two years ago, Nalcor and Astaldi reached a deal to boost the value of the company’s Muskrat Falls contract to $1.83 billion.

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