Peace River Hydro Partners have commenced the main civil works construction of the planned 1.1GW Site C dam and hydroelectric power generation project on the Peace River in north-eastern British Columbia, Canada, marking an important construction milestone.
The work is a part of a CAD$1.75bn ($1.2bn) contract awarded by British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro) to Peace River Hydro Partners.
Peace River Hydro Partners consortium includes Acciona Infrastructure Canada with 37.5% interest, Petrowest 25% and Samsung C&T Canada 37.5%.
Under the contract, the Acciona-led consortium is responsible for the construction of an earth fill dam, two diversion tunnels and a roller-compacted-concrete foundation for the generating station and spillways.
Canada Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett said: "British Columbia is leading the country in economic growth. Building Site C is crucial for our province to maintain its competitive advantage of low cost, reliable, clean energy that attracts investment and drives economic development.
"Main civil works is the largest single contract for Site C and its start is an important milestone for the project."
Designed to have an annual generating capacity of 5,100GWh of clean and renewable electricity, the $8.8bn project is expected to create 10,000 construction jobs and add $3.2bn to the province’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm said: "There are more than 100 local companies benefiting from Site C construction."
The project construction work is planned to be completed in 2024.
BC Hydro president and CEO Jessica McDonald said: "Site preparation activities have been underway since last summer to have the site ready for the start of main civil works, and this has been accomplished."
The hydroelectric project is expected to contribute to the BC Hydro’s effort to meet an estimated 40% increase in power demand over the next two decades.
Image: Illustration of Site C hydroelectric project. Photo: courtesy of Acciona.