News Release

Sexqeltkemc of the Secwepemc Nation to benefit from Mica Expansion Project facilities

Artist's rendering of work camp for BC Hydro's Unit 5 and 6 projects, which is to be developed by Sexqeltkemc of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation.

Project part of BC Hydro’s regeneration program; will generate clean power for 80,000 additional B.C. homes

REVELSTOKE – As part of the regeneration program to meet British Columbia’s growing need for electricity, BC Hydro announced Monday that Sexqeltkemc of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation will develop a temporary “home away from home” for approximately 250 contractor employees as a result of the Mica Units 5 & 6 Construction Camp contract being awarded to Horizon North Camps and Catering Partnership.

The contract is one of the largest ever awarded to a First Nations joint venture by BC Hydro.

Contractor employees will work out of temporary modular dormitories as they prepare to install two 135-metric-tonne generating units into empty bays at the Mica Generating Station, resulting in the addition of 1,000 megawatts of capacity to BC Hydro's system. This additional capacity, which will facilitate service to approximately 80,000 additional homes during peak demand periods, has an in-service date of 2014 for Mica Unit 5 and 2015 for Mica Unit 6.

The temporary housing and catering facilities will be fabricated in Kamloops by Horizon North’s subsidiary Northern Trailer and will be delivered beginning in June with the camp scheduled to be in full operation by August 2011. In addition to single-room dormitories, the Mica camp facilities will include a service complex which will house recreation, administration, first aid, security, kitchen and dining, luggage storage and laundry facilities.

All facilities shall adhere to energy efficient standards guided by BC Hydro’s Power Smart recommendations. Horizon has more than 30 years experience in providing camps, camp management and catering to industry working in remote locations.

“Throughout the traditional territory, Secwepemc leaders are open to partnerships that will generate opportunity for our people and for our neighbours,” said Kukpi7 Christian – Splatsin, spokesperson for the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council.  “We believe in the statement made by our ancestral leaders in 1910: ‘What is ours will be theirs, and what is theirs will be ours. We will help each other to be great and good.’ As this contract demonstrates, all British Columbians benefit when their government and its agencies work with us.”

“This project with the Sexqeltkemc of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation is a great example of what can happen when partnerships with First Nations are formed in the early stages of a project,” said Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Mary Polak. “Projects such as the Mica Expansion create jobs and opportunities that can benefit First Nations and other communities through all stages of the project.”

The Mica Units 5 & 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. These investments are also essential for BC Hydro to maintain among the lowest rates for electricity in North America.

“Mica’s expansion will generate both electricity and jobs for British Columbians,” said Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman. “The development of a temporary home for workers will bring immediate economic benefit to the Sexqeltkemc of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation and provide comfort to employees about to undertake this upgrade to one of the largest facilities in the BC Hydro system.”

“We’re confident that the First Nations from the Shuswap Lakes Division teamed with Horizon North from Kamloops will deliver a first class product,” said Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s Generation Executive Vice President. “The awarding of this contract is another important milestone for this project and we look forward to working with First Nations from the Secwepemc Nation to help foster future economic development opportunities.”

This is the second project awarded to First Nations in support of the Mica 5 and 6 Project. Last summer, BC Hydro awarded a contract to Kinbasket Integrated Project Management (KIPM) to perform water, sewer and service upgrades at the Mica town site for the project. KIPM is comprised of three Secwepemc Nation bands: Shuswap, Simpcw and Little Shuswap.

Phase one of that work – preparing the dormitory pads and water, sewer and electrical services for the camp – began last August and continued through until October 2010. Phase two of the contract –  to complete the site preparation work – will be finished this spring, prior to delivery of the work camp dormitories.

About Horizon North Camps and Catering Partnership

Horizon North Camps and Catering Partnership is a limited partnership with the Sexqeltkemc of the Secwepemc Nation, also known as the Lakes Division, which consists of the Adams Lake, Neskonlith and Splatsin.

Specializing in the construction and servicing of remote work camps, Horizon North Camps has its B.C. headquarters in Kamloops. Horizon North is also in partnership with the Tk’emlúps (Kamloops) Indian Band and have entered into a 25 year agreement to lease land for their Mount Paul manufacturing facility.

For more information, contact:

BC Hydro Media Relations
Direct: 604 928 6468

Kukpi7 Wayne Christian – Splatsin
Shuswap Nation Tribal Council
778 471 8200