Schedule still solid for transmission line

BC Hydro is still on track with the Northwest Transmission Line schedule despite having not yet signed on a company to design and build the project.

Greg Reimer, BC Hydro’s executive vice president for transmission and distribution, spoke to Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce members June 3.

He noted that with population anticipated to increase in the province, there will be an increase in demand.

With an increase in demand and BC Hydro required to take measures to conserve energy, it’s looking to renew and expand its infrastructure.

“The Northwest Transmission Line, of course, is one of those assets we’ve looked at for many years,” Reimer said.

“We’re currently in contract negotiations with our selected proponent for our design build contract,” he said of Valard/Quanta Services and Burns & McDonnell.

“We’re having ongoing positive negotiations to get through the issues that we have, and we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to come to an agreement in the near future,” he continued.

Reimer said the contracts have taken time to sign because the parties are looking to negotiate an appropriate contract for the project.

“It’s a big contract, it’s a big project, and a complicated project, and we have to make sure we get all the details right and we get on with building the project appropriately,” he said.

BC Hydro has hired Golder Associates to work on environmental program management services and Hatch for construction program management services, and is continuing its discussions with local First Nations as well.

“We continue our discussions with First Nations, and I can say that we’ve had a lot of success in the last few months in our discussions with First Nations, and I’m confident that we’ll continue to have success and move forward in completing agreements with those folks,” Reimer said.

“Things are moving along and we’re pretty happy with the way that we’re sitting on that project right now.”

He said the construction schedule is not at risk, and the completion date for the Northwest Transmission Line is still on schedule.

The transmission line will run 344km north of BC Hydro’s Skeena Substation near Terrace, ending at Bob Quinn on Hwy37 North. It is expected to lead to the development of several mines in the area, and be completed by late 2013.

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