BC Hydro awards civil contract for installation of additional generating units at Mica

The Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Company has been awarded a $40 million contract for civil work needed to install the fifth and sixth generating

Empty bays inside powerhouse at Mica Generating Station. The Mica 5 and 6 Project will install two new 135-metric-tonne generating units in the empty bays for a total of six generating units. Photo courtesy of BC Hydro

units at Mica Generating Station, BC Hydro announced on Monday.

It said in a statement that this will create 121 person-years of direct employment over the next five years.

The civil contract includes the supply and placement of reinforced concrete needed to house the turbine parts and for other purposes related to the installation of the additional generating units.

All labour for the Mica 5 and 6 Project will be hired through the Columbia Hydro Constructors agreement that gives preference to Columbia basin workers and equity hire. Throughout the entire life of the project, the Mica Unit 5 and 6 expansion project is expected to create 800 person-years of direct employment.

The project is part of BC Hydro’s overall regeneration program over the next three years to invest in and renew the province’s electricity system.

“The Mica Units 5 and 6 Project is a low-cost and low-impact project that will provide the much need additional capacity to BC Hydro’s electricity system Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s executive vice-president of generation, said in the statement. “This is a significant amount of electricity that will increase BC Hydro’s provincial capacity by nearly nine per cent, allowing BC Hydro to provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity to an additional approximately 80,000 homes at peak demand periods.”

Already the tallest dam in the province at 243 metres in height, the additional capacity will also make Mica Generating Station the most powerful. The two new units will increase the generating capacity of the facility from 1,805 megawatts to approximately 2,805 megawatts, surpassing BC Hydro’s current largest facility – GM Shrum Generating Station on the Peace River System at 2,730 megawatts.

Mica Generating Station, located 135 kilometres north of Revelstoke, was originally designed to house six generating units though only four were installed when the facility was constructed in 1977. The Mica 5 and 6 Project will install two new 135-metric-tonne generating units in the empty bays for a total of six generating units.

On-site work start this month. The project has an in-service date of 2014 for Mica Unit 5 and 2015 for Mica Unit 6.

You can find out more at BC Hydro’s web site at ww.bchydro.com