BC Hydro awards contract for Site C hydropower project site preparation

Canadian utility BC Hydro has awarded a contract to Morgan Construction and Environmental Ltd. for preparation activities on the 1,100-MW Site C hydropower project’s north bank.

BC Hydro most recently extended bidding for the work in March for the preparation of a construction site on the north bank of the Peace River. Work also includes the excavation and disposal of about 3 million cubic meters, quarry development including riprap production of about 100,000 cubic meters, building 7.25 kilometers of access roads, and clearing and grubbing 115 hectares.

“The contract with Morgan Construction meets key procurement objectives for the project — including being within budget — as well as requirements related to safety, quality and production,” BC Hydro said in a release.

Site preparation will begin in August and be complete by the end of June 16 in anticipation of main civil works construction.

“We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract,” Morgan Construction president Peter Kiss said. “I spent my summers on my grandparents’ farm on the banks of the Peace River near Hydson’s Hope, and I appreciate that Site C is a legacy project for British Columbia and we are very excited to be a part of it.”

The utility said it will retain an independent environmental monitor that will audit and review Morgan Construction’s work, reporting directly to federal and provincial regulatory agencies.

“The awarding of this contract is a significant milestone for the Site C project and we are pleased that our competitive procurement process is resulting in contracts that achieve the best value for our customers while also creating jobs and business opportunities for the Peace region,” BC Hydro President and CEO Jessica McDonald said.

The north bank site preparation deal is only the most recent Site C award offered in recent months.

The province’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced A.L. Sims and Sons Ltd. had been awarded a contract to improve public roads accessing the dam site in July, following the signing of BC Hydro deals with Paul Paquette and Son’s Contracting to clear the dam site’s south bank in May ATCO Two Rivers Lodging Group GP Ltd. for worker accommodations in April.

In total, BC Hydro estimates the Site C project will create 10,000 person-years of direct employment during its construction period and 33,000 person-years of employment in total, accounting for more than US$3 billion of investments in the B.C. economy.

“The construction of Site C will provide the Peace region with significant opportunities for local businesses and workers to help build a legacy project for the province,” legislator Pat Pimm said. “With the awarding of the contract for site preparation activities on the north bank of the dam site, we are moving forward with a project that will grow the regional economy and benefit generations of British Columbians.”

BC Hydro sought bids to provide wildlife mitigation and monitoring services for Site C’s construction phase in July.

The $8.8 billion project — to be located on the Peace River in northeast B.C. — is part of the province’s plan to meet what it anticipates will be a 40% increase in the province’s demand for power over the coming two decades.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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