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Delays related to software problems and to the COVID-19 pandemic are pushing up the cost of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project by $435-million.

Province-owned Nalcor Energy said today in a news release the project needs another $75-million in capital due to pandemic-related delays.

Nalcor adds that because of those delays and of issues with software, the company has to pay roughly $360 million to cover bond payments that have come due.

The company says COVID-19-related costs to the project were around $150-million, half of which was covered with funds in the capital budget.

Nalcor says the bonds need to be funded now, before the project is up and running and collecting hydro rates.

The company announced last week Muskrat Falls had reached a milestone after electricity began flowing for the first time from a power-generating unit.

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