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

Ladysmith awaits CVRD initiative on plastic bag ban

CVRD found collection route north of Ladysmith contained 25% non-acceptable materials in 2016

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Ladysmith’s Coats for Folks closes early due to building sale

The sale of a commercial building on First Avenue last month has… Continue reading

Smoking ban arrives on BC Ferries

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

VIDEO: It’s Hometown Hockey time in Cowichan!

See our videos and pictures by our reporters from the big event at The Stick.

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Castlegar homicide victim identified

The victim was 38-year-old Jordan Workman of Castlegar, B.C.

UPDATE: City of Nanaimo senior manager dismissed

Chief operations officer Brad McRae no longer employed by the city

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates get one last prime-time pitch

Leadership campaign to be decided in Feb. 3 vote

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Vancouver Islanders ponder need for tsunami siren song

Alarm sounds in Port Alberni but not at the DND base in Esquimalt

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Most Read