Premier Christy Clark and BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald announce main contractor for Site C dam construction at a BC Hydro substation in Burnaby Wednesday.

Contractors picked for Site C construction

Samsung of Korea, ACCIONA of Spain and Petrowest to sign BC Hydro's biggest-ever construction contract for Peace River dam

BC Hydro has selected its main contractor to construct the third dam on the Peace River, and is finalizing a $1.5 billion contract for a dam and river diversion that is the largest in the utility’s history.

The three members of Peace River Hydro Partners are Korean engineering and electronics giant Samsung, Spanish dam and infrastructure specialist ACCIONA and Petrowest Corp., a Calgary-based company that has expanded from oil and gas construction to large infrastructure in northeast B.C. and Alberta.

Petrowest and ACCIONA worked on the recently completed Fort St. John hospital, and ACCIONA has built hydro dams in Spain and Chile. Samsung has built hydro dams, roads, buildings, tunnels, bridges and airports.

Energy Minister Bill Bennett said the contract will be for a fixed price to build the main “civil works,” which include excavation, river diversion tunnels, intake and outlet structures, a kilometre-long earth-filled dam, a 70-metre-high concrete buttress and a road network.

Bennett said work can proceed in winter, and he is confident BC Hydro can stay within its estimated project cost of $8.3 billion.

When the decision to proceed was made a year ago, oil and gas activity was high and there were concerns about labour shortages. But with a continuing slump in oil, natural gas and mineral prices, there are idled workers and equipment in Fort McMurray and other sites in Western Canada.

“Mining is really slow right now and LNG has not yet taken off, so you actually have almost a perfect circumstance for BC Hydro to be entering into its major contracts on Site C,” Bennett said.

Petrowest CEO Rick Quigley said the project will hire locally first, from around B.C. second and elsewhere in Canada third before looking outside the country for skilled labour.

BC Hydro also identified Peace River Hydro Partners’ labour agreements with Christian Labour Association Canada and Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers’ Canada, which broke away from the U.S. international carpenters’ union in 2007.

B.C. Building Trades executive director Tom Sigurdson issued a statement protesting the choice.

“Premier Clark has long said that B.C. workers should be the first in line for Site C work,” Sigurdson said. “This has not been the case so far under the first major contract, awarded to a large Alberta company which has one of four workers on site from out of province.”

 

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii seabird conservation highlighted at international congress

Bird Studies Canada’s David Bradley is co-convening a symposium on biosecurity for island species

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Ferry sailing delayed after divers check Northern Adventure

Divers called in to check propeller shaft, sailing to Haida Gwaii now 140 minutes behind

Haida Gwaii fishery staff gear up for marine mammal rescues

Haida fishery guardians and DFO fishery officers better equipped to rescue marine mammals

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Vehicle fire on the Coquihalla

Heavy congestion in north bound lanes

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Most Read