Blasting to begin in October

Billion-dollar BC Hydro project will begin this summer in Campbell River

  • May. 6, 2014 11:00 a.m.

When the rainy season begins, the hydro project contractors will be taking cover – deep cover.

Blasting is expected to start this October to build a brand new John Hart Generating Station, and the $1 billion project is all going underground.

That includes an 8.1-metre diameter tunnel that will travel 2.1 kilometres from the John Hart dam, downhill through bedrock to be connected with the underground power station.

When it’s all complete in 2017, the current pipelines and generating station will be dismantled.

The new facility will be more efficient and will generate a bit more power.

As well, the design is expected to provide excellent seismic stability and a constant flow of water – even in a crises – to the Campbell River for fish and aquatic species.

The contractor selected by BC Hydro, SNC-Lavalin, will start clearing construction sites in July with blasting to begin in October.

On March 31 to April 1, more than 600 people attended a business event at the Maritime Heritage Centre to meet with the main contractors to find out more about job opportunities.

According to BC Hydro spokesman Stephen Watson, SNC-Lavalin continues to work on a labour agreement with the B.C. Building Trades that will include all local union and non-union subcontractors.

Once this agreement is in place the general details will be announced.

“Subcontractors and individuals remain eager on the economic opportunities,” Watson said in a news release.

“The union agreement needs to be in place before the formal subcontractor bids and hiring may take place.”

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For more information on the project, visit