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Terrace business files industrial lawsuit

ONE OF the local companies that’s done work at a multi-million dollar industrial project southwest of Terrace has filed a lawsuit saying it’s owed more than $100,000.

Main Logging filed the suit March 14, stating Dowland Contracting Ltd., which had been hired by the owner of the Dasque-Middle run-of-river hydroelectric project to be its primary contractor, hasn’t paid it $110,752 for work done at the site. As listed in suit details, Main says it entered into an oral contract with Dowland in or about August 2012 to provide “trucking services necessary to carry out the installation of penstock pipe ….”

“Pursuant to the contract, Main invoiced Dowland a total of $202,832.82, including applicable taxes for the work,” the suit states. “To date, Dowland has paid Main a total of $92,080.24, for the work performed.”

The suit further claims “Dowland has refused or neglected to make payment of the outstanding amounts, despite demand.” As of late last week, Dowland had yet to respond to the suit. Dowland also owes money to other Terrace companies stemming from work contracted at the Dasque-Middle project which is owned by the Calgary energy firm, Veresen. Dowland was hired by Veresen in the spring of 2012.

Veresen has already said it is not responsible for business dealings between Dowland and the companies it hired.

“Main Logging thought it prudent to take legal course to try and satisfy their debt,” said Chris Moore, one of the lawyers hired by Main. Dowland has since pulled its people and equipment from the $80 million project and has sent a notice to companies saying it is owned money by Veresen.

A March 6, 2013 memo sent by Dowland to its subcontractors and suppliers said that “Dowland has performed a significant amount of work for which we are owed payment by Veresen and, due to the owner’s unwillingness to compensate Dowland as per agreements, we have submitted several claims.”

According to the memo, Dowland is “actively pursuing all available avenues to collect compensation for work performed to date and will provide another update on our progress by the end of the month.” Based on earlier statements by Veresen, the company was to have been substantially finished the project last year. It now says it will be finished this fall.

The Vancouver company Swift Power first conceived of the project and Veresen bought Swift in 2010.

Power produced by the project will be sold to B.C. Hydro, part of that crown corporation’s efforts to provide power to meet growing demand.

The project involves generating power from the Dasque and Middle creeks and running it into the provincial grid via a transmission line connecting to BC Hydro’s Skeena Substation.

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