BC Hydro signs off contract – ready for blasting

The contract to build the new John Hart Generating Station was signed on Friday

Bring on the blasters and the rock trucks.

The contract to build the new John Hart Generating Station was signed on Friday between BC Hydro and InPower BC, a project company set up by SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. The estimated cost of the Campbell River project is $1.093 billion dollars.

“John Hart is an important facility for us on Vancouver Island,” said Chris O’Riley, Hydro’s VP of Generation, in a news release. “BC Hydro has worked hard since 2007 to advance this major project by developing the best plan and the best design to deal with a 67-year-old generating station that has seismic, reliability and fish habitat risks.”

Work is expected to begin by late April to replace the three 1.8-kilometre wooden penstocks – that run from John Hart Lake, down General Hill to the generating station – with a 2.1-kilometre tunnel.

The 8.1-metre diameter tunnel will be blasted and most of the rock will be hauled away and divided between the Campbell River and Cape Mudge First Nations. The latter intends to build a commercial port at Middle Point, located just north of the city. The new generating station will also be built underground, allowing for the removal of the old station when work is completed by 2017. The number of people working at the site will grow to 200 by the end of this year and peak at 340 in 2016.

SNC-Lavalin will run the project out of its Vancouver office, including working and co-ordinating with international team members on the specialized design and fabrication of components such as generators and turbines.

“This is a major project for BC Hydro and Vancouver Island, and we look forward to building on the community support that’s already in place for the project,” said Robert Card, president and CEO of SNC-Lavalin.

BC Hydro and SNC-Lavalin will host business opportunity events on March 31 and April 1 in Campbell River for the upcoming subcontractor and jobs opportunities.

More details on the event can be found at cr.majorprojects.ca. For more information on the project, visit bchydro.com/johnhart.