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Site C turbines ready to move

Ministry of Transportation says drivers can expect intermittent highways closures and overnight delays over the weekend
Unit 1 turbine runner arrives at Site C after travelling from Sao Paulo, Brazil, by ship to Prince Rupert, and transported on a customized truck to the project site, January 2021.

More Site C turbine runners will be transported from Prince Rupert to the dam site starting tonight.

The Ministry of Transportation says drivers can expect intermittent closures and overnight delays on these routes over the weekend:

  • Highway 16 from Prince Rupert to Terrace on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

  • Highway 16 from Terrace to Topley on Friday, Dec. 10, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

  • Highway 16 from Topley to Prince George on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

  • Highway 16 from Prince George to Highway 97 at Bear Lake Sunday, Dec. 12, from midnight to 5 a.m.

  • Highway 97 from Bear Lake to Highway 29 just north of Chetwynd at Jackfish Lake Road, Monday, Dec. 13, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The schedule will depend on weather and road conditions. The ministry says all closures are scheduled during times of expected low traffic volumes to reduce the impact on travellers.

The last four turbine runners for the Site C dam arrived last month at the port in Prince Rupert from São Paulo, Brazil.  Each runner weighs about 170 tonnes, measures 17 feet tall and 26 feet wide, and will be transported one at a time on a customized truck over the next couple months.

Voith Hydro was awarded a $470-million contract in April 2017 to design, supply, and install six turbines, six generators, and associated equipment for the Site C powerhouse.

The company, headquartered in Montreal, previously completed upgrades to the G.M. Shrum Generating station at the W.A.C. Bennett Dam.

The turbines and generators were custom built to "the site specific conditions" of the dam at Voith’s facility in Brazil, which BC Hydro says will generate 5,100 gigawatt hours of electricity each year.

The first two turbine runners arrived in Canada from São Paulo, Brazil, in December 2020, and were shipped in January of this year.

Work on turbine installation is expected to peak in 2022. As of Dec. 8, there were 1,444 workers in camp.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at