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

Alberni Valley’s kettle campaign kicks off

Star Trek fan club challenges other clubs, societies and community groups in Port Alberni

School District 70 cross-country students excel

School District 70 held its annual Elementary District Cross Country Meet

Kingsway Pub in Port Alberni discovers mystery paintings beneath walls

A mystery is afoot at the Kingsway Pub. Owner Helen Poon and… Continue reading

BUSINESS BEAT: New entrepreneurs investing in Port Alberni

Portal Curios and Oddities opening in Harbour Quay

Saanich man, passenger escape injury in Mt Arrowsmith rollover

A visitor from the South Island escaped injury after rolling his SUV… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Postal strike affects charities at critical fundraising time

Canadian fundraising professionals and charities join call for fast resolution

$90,000 pen from space created by B.C man

The Space pen is made from a meteorite

B.C. woman fined $2,300 for clocking 215 km/hr in Alberta

It’s the highest fine Alberta police have issued

Watchdog calls for probe into police board spending on former Victoria police chief

Police Complaint Commissioner says accountable and transparent review is in public interest

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Most Read