Businesses prepare for proposed John Hart project near Campbell River

BC Hydro has initiated the procurement process for the proposed John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project

BC Hydro has initiated the procurement process for the proposed John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project with a Request for Qualifications (RFQ).

BC Hydro will take some time to review the interested bidding teams and eventually shortlist them down to three before issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) this summer, said Colleen Evans, executive director of the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce. It is anticipated the work will be awarded in summer 2013, with construction immediately following.

BC Hydro has been actively talking about the procurement process with the Campbell River community and Island business leaders for several years. The primary reasons are to ensure the local and regional businesses and suppliers are aware of the project, and that they have a chance to promote their businesses for potential project opportunities. This proactive engagement approach led to a major projects web portal site (http://cr.majorprojects.ca/), one of the first of its kind for a community. The site was developed by the Campbell River & District Chamber of Commerce, with involvement and support from BC Hydro, the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, and the Vancouver Island Construction Association. The site went live in fall 2011, and to date, approximately 150 businesses have registered within the site’s database.

BC Hydro will foster economic development for First Nations, the Campbell River community and the surrounding region with a preliminary estimate that the project will require about 2,000 person years of work. The upper estimated full cost of the proposed project is $1.35 billion.

BC Hydro and community business leaders will continue to update the community as the project evolves. With the upcoming RFP this summer, BC Hydro will follow through with its commitment to have a First Nations and community business open house so that area businesses and suppliers can meet the three bidding teams. This engagement process will allow local companies and the bidding teams to build relationships a year in advance of the construction award.  The John Hart project will also be commencing a number of important approvals, which will run concurrently with the procurement process, with key regulatory agencies including the British Columbia Utilities Commission and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. A key part of these approval processes will rely on the ongoing consultation with First Nations, and engagement of government agencies and stakeholders.

The proposed project is to construct a replacement water intake at the John Hart Spillway Dam, replace the three 1.8 kilometre long pipelines with a 2.1 kilometre tunnel, construct a replacement generating station beside the existing station, and a new water bypass facility. The earliest construction would begin is summer 2013, with minor preparation work such as trail re-alignments and road access beginning this summer through spring 2013. BC Hydro is working towards having the first replacement generating unit in-service by 2017, with project completion in 2018.