Truck hauls material across temporary bridge built across the Peace River for construction of the Site C dam, January 2017. /BC HYDRO

Cheaper to cancel B.C.’s Site C dam than delay: report

Massive hydroelectric dam was a signature megaproject of former Premier Christy Clark

A new report concludes that it would be cheaper to cancel the Site C dam than to delay the $8.8-billion megaproject in northeast British Columbia.

The report by auditing firm Deloitte LLP says that pausing the project until 2025 would cost approximately $1.4 billion, while cancelling it outright would cost $1.2 billion.

Deloitte was tasked by the B.C. Utilities Commission to examine the costs to ratepayers of suspending or terminating the dam and whether it is on time and within budget.

Premier John Horgan’s NDP government has asked the commission to review the economic viability of the project and the commission will consider the Deloitte report as part of its review.

The report says the project is facing significant schedule and cost pressures, including the possibility of missing a river diversion milestone in 2019 that could inflate the overall price tag to more than $12.5 billion.

It also says Site C faces major risks including performance issues of contractors, unforeseen geotechnical conditions and cost risks related to major contracts that haven’t been awarded yet.

“These risks could impact the cost and schedule performance of the project,” the report says.

A decision to suspend the project until 2025 would trigger the close-out of the existing project and require a new project to be defined, including scope, budget and schedule, the report says.

Based on the current status of the project, existing contracts and agreements and anticipated activities to demobilize, preserve, safeguard and remobilize the site, the total cost of suspension would be about $1.4 billion, it says.

Terminating the project would require BC Hydro to withdraw from the site, return it to its natural state that supports long-term wildlife and vegetation and close out liabilities, bringing the cost of cancellation to $1.2 billion.

The utilities commission is expected to deliver an interim report by Sept. 20 and a final report by Nov. 1.

The massive hydroelectric dam on the Peace River was a signature megaproject of former Premier Christy Clark.

The NDP campaigned before the May election on having the project reviewed by the commission, a practice that was once standard in B.C., before Clark’s Liberal government passed clean-energy laws that allowed some projects to bypass the regulatory agency.

More than 2,400 people are employed by the project and construction continues while the review is underway.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing dog from high velocity Kelowna car crash found

Jewels is recovering in the comfort of her home

Kelowna’s Boucherie Grind sweats for a cause

The event exceeded it’s fundraising goal

Dancing in the Park returns for another year

Lace up your dancing shoes, Kelowna

Kelowna Ride Don’t Hide raises $85,000

The CMHA honours two brothers during fundraiser

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Mabel Lake Road roll over claims life

Armstrong man died in hospital after single vehicle roll over June 18

Thunder, strong winds possible for Okanagan

Environment Canada released the special weather statement Sunday afternoon

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Residents association plan gathering to discuss Pandosy waterfront park

KLO Neighbourhood Association has scheduled a public meeting with developers and city staff June 27

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

Most Read