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.

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

Alex Fiset and Cooper Oakes, both Grade 4, running to the finish, raising money for the ALS Society of B.C. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
John Muir students rally for ALS support

‘Hey ALS. Nobody likes you!’ the students yelled

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

Helicopter crew members onboard HMCS Halifax conduct inflight refueling during Operation Reassurance in the Mediterranean Sea in 2020. Some of the military choppers flying around Greater Victoria recently are taking part in a special ops training exercise. (Photo by Cpl. Braden Trudeau/Trinity-Formation Imaging Services)
Special Ops exercise brings influx of helicopters to Victoria

Ontario-based air force unit comes to Victoria to train over ocean

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

Most Read