Artist’s rendering of the Site C dam, the third hydro dam on the Peace River that started construction in 2015. (BC Hydro)

$1.6B contract one of three awarded for Site C dam in northeastern B.C.

Government says as many as 1,600 workers by the peak of construction in 2021 will be hired

A $1.6 billion contract has been awarded for construction of the Site C hydroelectric dam in northeastern British Columbia, just three months after the province’s NDP government reluctantly allowed the megaproject to continue.

BC Hydro says the contract has been awarded to Aecon-Flatiron-Dragados-EBC Partnership to build the dam’s generating station and spillways, with work beginning this spring.

The Crown corporation overseeing the development near Fort St. John says the contract for the powerhouse, penstocks, spillways and power intakes involves pouring the equivalent of 280 Olympic-sized swimming pools of concrete, as well as installation of enough rebar to build nearly five Eiffel towers.

The utility says the two spillways alone are 17-storeys high and five highway-lanes wide, making the contract the project’s second-largest, just under the $1.75 billion contract inked in 2015 with Peace River Hydro Partners for the dam’s foundation and other civil works.

Two separate contracts, worth a total of $56 million, have gone to a Nanaimo-based company for construction of the Site C substation and to a Quebec-based firm that will supply the bridge and gantry cranes for the generating station and spillways powerhouse.

READ MORE: Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

READ MORE: Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Hydro says in a news release that the partnership awarded the $1.6 billion contract expects to hire as many as 1,600 workers by the peak of construction in 2021 and has agreed to give priority to Indigenous applicants and those from northeastern B.C.

Premier John Horgan’s government announced in December that it had no alternative but to complete Site C rather than absorb the $4 billion cost of scrapping it.

At the time, Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said in a Facebook post that the approval was the most difficult decision of her career and she was ”grieving the loss of agricultural land in the flood zone of Site C.”

The dam, the third across the Peace River, will flood an 83-kilometre stretch of valley west of Fort St. John.

It was originally estimated to cost $8.3 billion, but Friday’s contract announcement from Hydro projects a revised budget of $10.7 billion.

When complete, BC Hydro estimates Site C will provide enough power to heat and light as many as 450,000 homes a year.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Finalists announced for Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards

Winners will be honoured at an awards gala Friday, Feb. 22 at the Coast Bastion Hotel

Nanaimo Clippers beat league’s best team on trip

Clippers get past the Chilliwack Chiefs 2-1 as BCHL regular season winding down

Coldest Night of the Year walk supports people in Nanaimo experiencing homelessness

Island Crisis Care Society event takes place on Saturday, Feb. 23

Four Nanaimo athletes make Team B.C. for Canada Winter Games

Judo, synchronized swimming and boxing athletes qualify for games in Red Deer, Alta.

Buccaneers break a third-period tie to beat Generals

Nanaimo doubled up Oceanside 2-1 on Sunday in VIJHL action

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Atlantic Canada rock band Partner making Nanaimo debut this week

Polaris Prize-nominated band from Sackville, N.B. embarking on first West Coast tour

Most Read