Manitoba Hydro lines up contractor for 695-MW hydro project

A Bechtel-led team, BBE Hydro Constructors LP, has been awarded a contract worth approximately C$1.4bn by Manitoba Hydro to build the Keeyask Generating Station on the lower Nelson River in northern Manitoba, Canada.

The Keeyask station will have a 695-MW capacity and produce on average 4,400 gigawatt hours of electricity. The team, which is made up of Bechtel, Barnard Construction and EllisDon, expects to start construction on the project later this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

“We are very pleased to have Bechtel on board as part of the group for this contract,” said Bruce Barrett, vice president of Manitoba Hydro, in a March 25 statement. “They know the river, they know the area, and we expect their experience with past projects in Manitoba’s north will be a real benefit to the joint-venture group. Every one of these companies is a leader in their field, and as a group we think they offer real value to the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership and Manitoba Hydro in terms of ensuring that this project is completed safely—as well as on time and on budget.”

“Keeyask is upstream from Limestone, the region’s largest generating station, which we completed ahead of schedule and under budget back in 1992,” said Brian Sedar, manager of Bechtel’s global water business. “We will draw from our experience and look forward to working closely with our partners and Manitoba Hydro to ensuring the success of this project.”

BBE Hydro Constructors will be responsible for building a seven-unit powerhouse, earthen structures, rock excavation, electrical and mechanical work, and the construction and removal of temporary cofferdams needed to manage the river flow during construction. The first power from the plant is expected as early as 2019 with final completion in 2020.

The Keeyask project has been developed by Keeyask Hydropower LP, a collaborative effort between Manitoba Hydro and the local communities, including Tataskweyak, York Factory, Fox Lake, and War Lake First Nations.

Bechtel has more than 80 years’ global experience delivering some of the largest and most complex water and hydroelectric projects in the world. It has completed more than 45 hydroelectric power plants, including the James Bay and Churchill Falls plants in Canada, and the Uribante-Caparo generating station in Venezuela.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.