THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT of British Columbia in Canada has announced a US$148M expansion of hydro power production at the Brilliant dam on the Kootenay river, in southeastern British Columbia.

The expansion will add 120MW to the existing plant, originally built in the 1940s by Cominco with a capacity of 125MW.

The provincial government is contributing US$72.7M over two years while the crown owned Columbia Power Corp and the Columbian Basin Trust will fund the remaining US$75.6M through private sector debt financing.

The trust and Columbia Power bought Brilliant dam from Cominco in 1996 and began upgrading it in 2000. Columbia Power has signed an agreement with the Brilliant Expansion Consortium ­ comprised of Skanska-Chant JV, SNC-Lavalin Inc, and Skanska International Civil Engineering AB ­ to increase the dam’s power output.