CRMF staff show off some large diameter ventilation elbows that were recently shipped to the site for the John Hart project underground tunnels.

Local company benefits from dam construction project

CAMPBELL RIVER—CR Metal Fabricators constructs large-diameter ventilation works for dam project tunnels

As work at the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project moves underground, one Campbell River company has been able to share its expertise by creating some of the required infrastructure locally.

CR Metal Fabricators Ltd. (CRMF) built and provided some large-diameter ventilation works connections for the service and access tunnels for the dam project. Ventilation infrastructure is critical to providing good air quality and worker safety as the tunnels slowly expand underground, about 70 metres below the surface.

The two-metre-diameter ventilation pipe elbow connections built by CRMF required field welding and shop fabrication at its Campbell River site.

There will also be a 39-metre high underground cavern to situate the new generating station and its three turbines and generators.

CRMF has a varied workforce of about 18 people, with as many as nine employees engaged in work for the John Hart project.

“We are excited for the new challenges presented by the John Hart project, both in the short and long term,” says Tyler Abbott, a project manager with CRMF. “We welcome the opportunity of contributing our support to such a significant project.”

CRMF provides general fabrication, specialty welding, CNC plasma cutting, and design and drafting services for all forms of industrial construction projects. It has also fabricated explosive transport boxes for the John Hart project.

“Wherever possible, the project team is tapping local businesses to help with this project. There’s a lot of work to do and having resources in Campbell River will help keep all of the work on track,” said Andy Brown, Technical Director for InPower BC.

“This is an example of the job spin-offs that a project of this magnitude creates within our community,” said Mike Boulet, Campbell River Chamber of Commerce Board Chair. “It’s great to see local supply and skill being utilized as well as it has in the project’s first year. It will only increase as the scope of the site work increases, peaking in 2016.”

BC Hydro, the Chamber and other local and regional business leaders have worked since 2011 to prepare the John Hart project, and project contractor InPower BC is continuing that focus on local subcontractors, suppliers and workers.

“There are about 100 people working on site and of those, about 80 per cent are local workers,” says BC Hydro spokesperson, Stephen Watson. “Local means workers that live within 90 kilometres of the John Hart site. With increased craft work required on site, it’s anticipated to reach 90 per cent local in the coming months. InPower BC is engaged with the local and regional business community and it’s nice to see.”