BC Hydro awards C$1.75bn contract for massive hydroelectric project

BC Hydro and Peace River Hydro Partners – which includes ACCIONA Infrastructure Canada, Petrowest Corp. and Samsung C&T Canada Ltd. – have reached agreement on a contract for the Site C main civil works.

The main civil works contract value is now confirmed at about C$1.75 billion and includes the construction of an earthfill dam, two diversion tunnels and a roller-compacted-concrete foundation for the generating station and spillways, said BC Hydro in a Dec. 21 statement. This work will create about 8,000 person-years of employment over the eight-year contract, along with local business opportunities. Around 1,500 people will be working on main civil works at the peak of construction.

BC Hydro issued a Request for Qualifications in April 2014 and short-listed four proponent teams to provide proposals for the main civil works contract. BC Hydro received proposals from all four teams in October 2015. On Nov. 25, 2015, BC Hydro announced that Peace River Hydro Partners was selected as the preferred proponent for the main civil works contract.

The contract with Peace River Hydro Partners is within the budget established by BC Hydro, and is included in the C$8.335 billion cost estimate for Site C. In addition, a C$440 million project reserve has been established by the British Columbia provincial government to account for events outside of BC Hydro’s control, such as higher than forecast inflation or interest rates.

To meet the demand for jobs and business opportunities, BC Hydro is planning a series of job fairs and business-to-business networking sessions in early 2016. The sessions will provide an opportunity for local, regional and Aboriginal businesses and job seekers to meet the main civil works team and other project contractors.

BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project will be a third dam and hydroelectric station on the Peace River in northeast B.C. It will provide 1,100 MW of capacity, and produce about 5,100 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity each year. As the third project on one river system, Site C will gain significant efficiencies by taking advantage of water already stored in the Williston Reservoir. In December 2014, the Site C project received approval from the provincial government to proceed to construction. Construction of the project started in summer 2015 and will be completed in 2024.

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.