SaskPower awards EPC contract for new 350-MW Chinook power plant

SaskPower has awarded a contract to Burns & McDonnell for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the new Chinook power plant, a 350-MW natural gas-fired power facility to be located in Southwestern Saskatchewan.

SaskPower is a provincial Crown Corporation and Saskatchewan’s leading energy supplier. The company issued a formal notice to proceed in July and engineering design is underway.

Burns & McDonnell made the announcement Sept. 28. Financial terms of the EPC agreement were not disclosed.

The plant will be built on a greenfield site in a rural area near Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The plant site is located in Southwestern Saskatchewan. SaskPower said Sept. 23 that the new gas plant at Swift Current would be named Chinook. miles north of the Canada border with the United States.

Pending environmental approval, construction is expected to begin as early as late 2016, with the plant being commissioned and in service in late 2019.

The estimated budget to build the Chinook station will be approximately C$680m, SaskPower has said.

Up to 500 craft and tradesmen will be employed on the project during peak construction. SaskPower estimates that about 25 workers will be needed when the Chinook plant goes into operation.

Burns & McDonnell teamed with the SaskPower engineering group in submitting the winning bid as part of a competitive bid process that attracted five competing proposals from independent power providers (IPPs).  As EPC contractor, Burns & McDonnell will work closely with SaskPower engineers and construction management staff on all phases of the project. 

The combined-cycle facility will feature a Siemens F-Class gas turbine, a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) and a Siemens steam turbine to boost power output and maximize energy efficiency while reducing the overall emissions footprint. The combined cycle operation will utilize exhaust heat that would otherwise be lost in a simple cycle configuration.

The hot exhaust from the initial cycle is captured to boil water into steam in the HRSG and spin an additional second generator to produce more power. The combined cycle unit will also significantly reduce water usage thanks to a plant design that will incorporate advanced air cooling to minimize water usage.

Natural gas for the plant will be supplied under a long-term contract with TransGas via a large-capacity pipeline that runs in close proximity to the plant site. TransGas is a subsidiary of SaskEnergy and serves producers and end users in Saskatchewan and other western Canada provinces.

“Chinook Power Station is going to play a major part in helping SaskPower continue to meet a growing demand for power in Saskatchewan,” said SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh. “We’re pleased to be teaming with Burns & McDonnell as our EPC contractor on this critical project.”

“We’re very gratified by the confidence SaskPower has shown in us,” says Chris Lehan, Vice President of Energy in Canada for Burns & McDonnell. “We have a track record of taking on the most complex power projects in the industry under difficult and challenging conditions and take great pride in coming through for our clients.” 

Burns & McDonnell provided engineering, procurement and construction management services to SaskPower for its recently completed 204-MW expansion of the Queen Elizabeth Power Station located near Saskatoon. The project required a conversion of simple-cycle to combined-cycle technology for improved efficiency.;52

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at