Site C spillway contract $300 million over original estimate

Contract worth $1.6 billion awarded to consortium headed by Aecon

The main civil works contract, $1.7 billion is expected to come in over budget, due to geotechnical problems and delays. | BC HYDRO

BC Hydro has awarded the second largest contract for Site C dam to a consortium that includes Aecon Group Inc. (TSX:ARE), the Canadian company targeted for takeover by a Chinese state-owned company, at a cost that is $300 million more than originally estimated.

BC Hydro announced March 16 that it has awarded the contract for the dam’s spillway and generating station to a consortium called Aecon-Flatiron-Dragados-EBC Partnership (AFDE Partnership).

At 30%, Aecon is the largest shareholder in the consortium. The contract is valued at $1.6 billion. That’s $300 more than Deloitte estimated the contract would be worth.

Deloitte had been commissioned by the BC Utilities Commission to scrutinize the Site C dam budget, and had access to confidential BC Hydro documents. It had estimated the spillway and generating station contract to be worth $1.25 billion.

That figure had been unintentionally been released by the BCUC, which had published the Deloitte report unredacted on its website. It was taken down, and replaced by a redacted copy, but not before it made it into the hands of various media outlets, including Business in Vncouver.

BC Hydro says the contract fits within its revised budget of $10.7 billion. The Site C dam budget was originally $8.3 billion.

The spillway and generating station contract is the second largest – the largest being the main civil works contract awarded to Peace River Hydro Partners for $1.7 billion. That portion of the work was already expected to be over budget last year when the project was only 20% completed.

Other smaller contracts that have been awarded include $33 million to Nanaimo’s F&M Installations Ltd. for a substation, and $23 million to Quebec’s REEL COH Inc. for gantry cranes and a powerhouse bridge.