In a letter addressed to the British Columbia Utilities Commission, David Morton, the President and Chief Executive Officer of BC Hydro, Chris O’Riley released further information regarding BC Hydro’s Site C’s Project.
The project located near Fort St. John, was expected to create 35,000 jobs during the building process, along with an extra 10,000 direct construction jobs and when completed, it will be capable of serving 450,000 homes annually for 100 years.
In O’Riley’s most recent quarterly and annual report, he acknowledged some of the obstacles that caused the delay in the project include: amendments to the main civil works contract, increased costs associated with reservoir clearing, transmission line construction and highway realignment work, additional labour resource requirements, First Nations treaty infringement claims and an injunction application.
He added, “On March 18, 2020, BC Hydro announced it was substantially reducing certain work activities on the project in response to the increasing escalation of provincial measures to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Prior to the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project remained on schedule for the first generating unit to go into service in late 2023 and a final in-service date in 2024.
O’Riley noted serious concerns in his letter to Morton.
“BC Hydro begun the process to re-baseline the project to determine the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the project’s schedule and budget. It will continue to work with the independent Site C Technical Advisory Board and the Project Assurance Board to determine the appropriate enhancement measures.”
The estimated cost and schedule impacts will be better understood once the enhancement measures are selected.