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BC Hydro corrects inaccurate statements in DesmogCanada article

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Site C project on schedule and on budget

VANCOUVER – BC Hydro would like to correct some inaccurate statements that appeared in an online story by Sarah Cox for DesmogCanada (Site C Dam Already Cost $314 Million More than Expected, Behind Schedule, New Documents Show, June 30, 2016). Cox was reporting on BC Hydro's quarterly progress reports to the BCUC.

Contrary to what was stated in the article, the Site C project is on budget and on schedule. More money has been spent on construction to this point because BC Hydro's contractors have completed more work than originally planned for this period, which is good news for the project.

In the report, on page 26, it states: "Variances between the plan to date amounts occur due to differences in the timing of project implementation activities. Variances are primarily due to earlier than planned expenditures related to Worker Accommodation and Main Civil Works."

The article by DesmogCanada incorrectly states that the project is behind schedule. The author of the article fails to appreciate that not all construction milestones affect the critical path of the project and she neglects to mention that, on page 3, the report states: "The Project is on track for overall scope and schedule. The Project is on track with the Project completion date of November 2024."

In fact, BC Hydro's report to the BCUC lists significant construction progress during this period, including:

  • The Peace River Construction Bridge was completed on schedule and on budget on March 31, 2016.
  • Over 900 hectares of clearing has been completed between the north and south bank of the dam site and the lower reservoir.
  • Construction of the Worker Accommodation Camp continues with the Phase 1 opening of 300 rooms on March 1, 2016. Work remains on track for completion of Phase 2 (an additional 900 rooms).
  • Peace River Hydro Partners mobilized to site on March 22, 2016.

While the DesmogCanada article discusses project risks, in fact, it is good practice for a large infrastructure project to identify and manage risks. That is what BC Hydro is doing on Site C and it is being reported in the BCUC filings for transparency purposes.

All large infrastructure projects face various risks during the construction period, but the timing of Site C construction is also an advantage. The project is being built as interest rates are at historical lows, commodity prices are down, and the slowdown in the oil and gas industry has increased the availability of skilled workers.

Finally, BC Hydro is being open and transparent with Site C construction by voluntarily filing quarterly progress reports to the BCUC. The reports are made available on the project website after they are submitted to the Commission.

The Site C Clean Energy Project is a hydroelectric dam and generating station under construction in northeast B.C. The project is being built to meet long-term electricity needs in B.C. Once complete in 2024, the project will provide clean, renewable and cost-effective electricity for more than 100 years.

Contact:
BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468