Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Company has been awarded a C$40M contract from BC Hydro for civil work needed to install the fifth and sixth generating units at Mica Generating Station.

The contract includes the supply and placement of reinforced concrete needed to house the turbine parts and for other purposes related to the installation of the additional generating units. All labour for the Mica 5 and 6 Project will be hired through the Columbia Hydro Constructors agreement that gives preference to Columbia basin workers and equity hire.

The Mica Units 5 and 6 Project is part of BC Hydro’s overall regeneration program over the next three years to invest in and renew the province’s electricity system. These investments are required to improve and replace aging facilities that were built primarily between 1950 and 1980, ranging from upgrading dams and generating stations, to building entirely new transmission lines linking existing and new substations, and much more.

“The Mica Units 5 and 6 Project is a low cost and low impact project that will provide the much need additional capacity to BC Hydro’s electricity system,” said Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s Executive Vice-President of Generation. “This is a significant amount of electricity that will increase BC Hydro’s provincial capacity by nearly nine per cent, allowing BC Hydro to provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity to an additional approximately 80,000 homes at peak demand periods.”

Already the tallest dam in the province at 243m in height, the additional capacity will also make Mica Generating Station the most powerful. The additional two units will increase the generating capacity of the facility from 1805MW to approximately 2805MW, surpassing BC Hydro’s current largest facility – GM Shrum Generating Station on the Peace River System at 2730MW.

Mica Generating Station, located 135km north of Revelstoke, was originally designed to house six generating units though only four were installed when the facility was constructed in 1977. The Mica 5 and 6 Project will install two new 135-metric-tonne generating units in the empty bays for a total of six generating units.

On-site work will start in May 2011 with the contractors arriving at Mica Generating Station and setting up work areas. The project has an in-service date of 2014 for Mica Unit 5 and 2015 for Mica Unit 6.