Almost a year ago to the day that the contract was awarded, the company tasked with building and installing the turbines and generators for the Site C dam has begun its work, it was announced Monday.
Voith Hydro Canada has mobilized to the dam construction site along the Peace River, where it will carry out a $470-million contract to design, supply, and install six turbines, six generators, and associated equipment for the dam's powerhouse.
"We're thrilled to have reached this important milestone in the Site C project and to be a part of this important legacy project for British Columbia," Voith Canada President and CEO Bill Malus said in a statement.
"Our initial on-site work will include building a facility at the dam site to manufacture the steel structures for the turbines and generators."
Excavation and foundation work for the temporary manufacturing facility, located on the South Bank, will start this month and is expected to be completed in August.
“There are many benefits to having this site and shop location on site, for one it will allow us to reduce transportation lead times it will also help us keep our project’s schedule and ensure the highest quality products,” said Malus.
He also noted that Voith will be utilizing state-of-the-art technology, including advanced robotic welding manufacturing techniques, as well as a traditional workforce, to construct the turbines, generators and spiral case segments in the powerhouse.
The turbines and generators are being 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.
Each turbine is 30 metres high and 27 metres wide and are transported as one piece.
Work on turbine installation is expected to peak in 2022, with about 150 workers on site, according to the province. It adds a labour agreement for the work, to be carried out mostly by millwrights, electricians, pipefitters and boilermakers, includes participation from 10 B.C. Building Trades Unions.
"This is another important step forward for the Site C project," Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier said.
"The turbines and generators are a critical component of this project as they'll generate the clean electricity that will power our homes and businesses well into the future.
“In order to stay on time with this project we need to be making sure we’re still hitting these milestones, so it’s great to see that it’s all falling into place.”
Voith Canada is headquartered in Montreal. The company previously completed upgrades to the G.M. Shrum Generating station at the W.A.C. Bennett Dam.