Tunnel contractors have commenced work at the 30MW Pingston hydro project in southern British Columbia, Canada.

The 4km long tunnel is expected to take approximately 12 months to complete. Construction work on the power house, intake and transmission interconnection are also moving forward. Designs for the headpond, weir and intake have been completed and will be undertaken as a separate contract. Orders have also been placed for turbine/generation equipment, scheduled for delivery in early 2002. Site works including roads, penstock grading and clearing are essentially complete.

The Pingston project is being developed by Canadian Hydro in conjunction with its 50% joint venture partner, Great Lakes Power. Com-missioning is scheduled to take place in July 2002. The power could be sold to BC Hydro or Alberta utilities.

Meanwhile, BC Hydro has awarded the contract to carry out the seismic upgrade of two dams at the Elsie Lake reservoir, in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to Copcan Contracting from Nanaimo. The work involves excavating, removing and replacing loose liquefiable materials within the body of the two earth dams. The majority of this work is expected to be completed by November 2001.

In October 2000, a temporary spillway channel was constructed to keep the reservoir level below that of the loose layers. When the earthwork is complete, this temporary spillway channel will be plugged with concrete to re-establish normal reservoir levels.

The Elsie Lake reservoir is impounded by four saddle dams and a main dam provides storage for the Ash river hydro plant. Water is transported through a 7.5km long tunnel and pipeline to the 27MW power house on Great Central Lake.