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.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Firefighters on scene at Castlegar house fire

The fire has since spread to an adjacent property

Zoning hearing scheduled for major Castlegar housing development

Phase two of Twin Rivers Estates needs a zoning change before moving forward

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read