Nalcor Energy, the provincial energy utility, has been given responsibility for managing and operating the facilities.

The Government said it has not finalised plans for the plants, but that short-term power arrangement was being settled. In addition, it was seeking interest in AbitibiBowater’s timber rights.

In a statement, the Government said: “The purpose of the expropriation is to ensure our natural resources are returned to their rightful owners – the people of this province – after AbitibiBowater ceased operation of its logging and milling operations in central Newfoundland.”

Separately, last month AbitibiBowater agreed to the conditional sale of 60% of the 335MW Manicouagan River plant to Hydro-Quebec.