SNC-Lavalin Inc. has announced that InPower BC signed an agreement with BC Hydro to design, build, partially finance and rehabilitate the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Facility under a 20-year contract. BC Hydro will continue to operate the facility.
Built in 1947 on the Campbell River, the existing 126-MW John Hart Generating Station represents approximately 17 per cent of the total generating capacity on Vancouver Island. The project will create a more reliable, seismically robust and environmentally friendly facility with an increased installed capacity of 132 MW.
SNC-Lavalin and its team of subcontractors will provide engineering and construction services. The maintenance of the generating station will be performed by a partnership of SNC-Lavalin and an Industrias Metalúrgicas Pescarmona S.A.I.C. y F. (IMPSA) entity, in coordination with BC Hydro staff.
The Province’s power utility named the SNC-Lavalin-led team as preferred proponent in November of 2013 following a competitive and rigorous procurement process.
“SNC-Lavalin and its partners are pleased to have an opportunity to help deliver an important project for those who depend on John Hart for their power,” said Robert G. Card, President and CEO, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. “We look forward to working closely with BC Hydro in one of our strategic home markets to make the new John Hart facility a resounding success.”
BC Hydro will provide 60 per cent of the approximately $700-million construction capital cost, with SNC-Lavalin Capital Inc. providing the balance through invested equity and arranged debt financing, including a short-term construction loan by Alberta Treasury Branches and a long-term widely distributed private placement underwritten by Scotia Capital and National Bank Financial. The project financing is non-recourse to SNC-Lavalin.
“We are thrilled to continue our long association with the Province of British Columbia and strengthen our leadership position in this key market,” added Gerry Grigoropoulos, acting executive vice-president, Infrastructure Concession Investments, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. “This is the first time BC Hydro has undertaken this procurement model and the replacement project is one of the largest EPC opportunities in the province. This agreement therefore also acknowledges SNC-Lavalin’s fully integrated services strategy and team structure.”
The construction of the hydroelectric project will commence in April 2014, with full commercial operations expected to begin by the fall of 2018. The total completion of the new facility and decommissioning of the existing one will run into 2019.