VANCOUVER—BC Hydro is moving forward with its controversial Site C dam project. The crown corporation has awarded the main civil works contract, which is the largest single piece of the $8.3 billion project at $1.5 billion, to Peace River Hydro Partners.
While the project’s proponents applauded the handing down of the contract, the progress was met with heavy criticism from numerous First Nations groups and one of the region’s land owners associations.
The Peace River consortium consists of ACCIONA Infrastructure Canada Inc., Petrowest Corp. and Samsung C&T Canada Ltd.
“Peace River Hydro Partners are excited to be part of building a legacy project that will benefit British Columbians for generations to come,” Rick Quigley, Petrowest’s president and CEO, said. “Our partnership has strong roots in Fort St. John, and I’m proud to be a part of the team building a clean energy project in the same community in which I live and work.”
Under the contract, the three companies will be responsible for the construction of an earthfill dam, two diversion tunnels and a concrete foundation for the generating station and spillways. Work under the mega-project’s civil works contract alone is expected to create 8,000 person-years of employment over eight years. At peak construction, the work will employ 1,500 people, which BC Hydro said will create opportunities for local, regional and Aboriginal businesses.
“The Site C project is creating thousands of jobs for our province, as well as significant opportunities for apprenticeships, skills training, and business contracts,” the province’s premier, Christy Clark, said. “As B.C.’s diverse economy continues to grow, Site C is part of our vision to meet long-term energy needs, providing clean, renewable and affordable electricity for generations.”
Though the largest piece of the massive public works project is squarely in the hands of the Peace River consortium, BC Hydro noted other major upcoming contracts include those for turbines and generators; generating station and spillways; Highway 29 realignment; and substation and transmission lines.