Wuskwatim dam contract awarded
By: Larry Kusch
Manitoba Hydro has awarded a contract to construct the bulk of the Wuskwatim hydroelectric dam, it was announced this morning.
The winning bidder for the contract, worth $289 million, is O’Connell-Neilson-EBC Partnership.
A letter of intent to award the contract was issued by Manitoba Hydro at the end of September and the contract was officially concluded recently.
The consortium consists of managing partner H.J. O’Connell Construction Ltd., whose project office is in St. John’s, Nfld; Neilson Inc. from Saint-Nicholas, Quebec; and EBC Inc. from L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec.
Under the Wuskwatim Power Limited Partnership (WPLP), Manitoba Hydro manages the project, including the tendering process.
The general civil work remaining at Wuskwatim entails building the earth dams and dykes, the concrete structures that comprise the generating station itself, as well as rock excavation, maintaining roads and cofferdams.
In addition, the consortium will be responsible for supplying and installing the powerhouse walls, roof, and superstructure steel.
A key feature of the contract is a schedule that advances the in-service date of the generating station to 2011, Hydro said.
The 200-megawatt Wuskwatim project, located 45 kilometres southwest of Thompson on the Burntwood River, is being developed by the WPLP, a legal entity involving Manitoba Hydro and the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN).
“The awarding of the civil contract is a key benchmark of progress on the project,” said Manitoba Hydro president and CEO Bob Brennan. “Wuskwatim is a unique project which is serving as a model for future project development, in Manitoba and in other parts of the country. There is a lot of interest in the partnership model from other jurisdictions.”
The original general civil contract was tendered in 2007 and only one bid was received.
As a result, the tender was subsequently cancelled. Manitoba Hydro, acting as project manager, divided the originally planned work into smaller construction contracts and Peter Kiewit & Sons Ltd. was awarded the contract to do overburden and initial rock excavation and construct the Stage 1 cofferdams. Pennecon was awarded a second contract to do structures area rock excavation and concrete aggregate production.