Cost estimates jump for 824-MW Muskrat Falls project
Canada’s 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydro project will come with a larger price tag, says Premier Kathy Dunderdale. Muskrat Falls, which was projected to cost about C$6.05 billion (US$6.1 billion) in a government study two years ago, will now cost about C$7.4 billion.
The project has been fraught with controversy throughout its development, but proponents say that Muskrat Falls’ long-term benefits outweigh its negatives.
According to a report from Manitoba Hydro International, the project would cost C$2.4 billion (US$2.42 billion) less over the next 50 years than if the province continues relying on other alternatives.
Items included in the cost are the Muskrat Falls generating station, the Labrador-Island transmission link, and a maritime link that will be constructed by Emera Inc., which is Nalcor Energy’s partner in developing the project.
Government officials stated the price increase reflects cost escalation and a more clearly defined scope of the project.
Capital costs identified in the report are based on the completion of about 50% of the engineering and detailed design work for the project, the results of early site work completed near Muskrat Falls, and include actual bid values for major components.
The province’s government is expected to decide whether to approve the project by the end of 2012.
Klohn Crippen Berger recognized as one of BC’s top exporters
Klohn Crippen Berger, an international engineering and environmental services firm, has been named a finalist for the BC Export Awards in the Professional Services category, one of 12 categories.
Vancouver-based Klohn Crippen Berger has offices across Canada, with branches in Peru, England and Australia as well, making it a Top 25 Exporter.
Objectives of the awards are to increase awareness among British Columbians of the important role exporting has in the provincial economy, identify and reward the most successful and innovative exporters, and promote the top exporters as corporate role models.
This year’s BC Export Awards ceremony took place Nov. 23 in Vancouver.
In related news, Klohn Crippen Berger launched its newest office in Toronto’s financial district this year. The location is the one of two in Ontario and the 13th office company-wide. This office provides environmental, engineering, and geochemistry expertise in countries such as Australia, Arabia, South America, Africa, and Europe.
Hydro Ottawa named Large Company of the Year
Ontario Energy Association named utility company Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. the 2012 Large Company of the Year in the Ontario energy sector. The award recognizes Hydro Ottawa for its achievements, such as financial operations, customer service, distribution and energy production, corporate social responsibility, environmental leadership and human resources management.
The company has increased its shareholder value by more than US$135 million over the past four years while building a customer base of more than 305,000.
That deal gave Hydro Ottawa control of six of the seven plants at Chaudiere Falls, which combine for an output capacity of 38 MW. The company said that capacity could be expanded to 60 MW in the future.
AFI Hydro experiences significant expansion
AFI Hydro has expanded considerably over the past two years, adding both jobs and space to its plant in Paris, Ontario, Canada.
AFI Hydro was founded in 1992 and was then known as Allied Fabricators. In May 2010, a group of investors organized by Craig Capital Corp. purchased the company. Four of the original six owners retained management and ownership positions.
The new owners invested $4 million to add space to the facility, as well as increase capacity of the paint and blasting rooms. AFI Hydro hired local contractors and firms to handle the expansion, and the result was floor space of 82,000 square feet, compared with 30,000 previously. The new facility also features overhead cranes with 50-ton capacity and 29-foot clearance under the crane hooks, a 3,060-square-foot cleaning and painting room, 5 acres of yard storage, nine shipping doors, and two boring mills.
The company designs, fabricates and installs water control gates and ancillary equipment for hydroelectric facilities, focusing on turnkey projects.
It is currently providing equipment for Alta Gas Ltd.’s 195-MW Forrest Kerr project (sluiceway radial gate, stoplogs, trashracks, intake gate and hoists), Ontario Power Generation’s Lower Mattagami project (three generating station extensions), and SaskPower’s 101-MW Island Falls plant (intake gates).
Partnerships, strategic plans announced at OWA conference
The Ontario Waterpower Association announced the launch of a new strategic plan at the Power of Water Canada conference in October in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.
This plan states the organization’s vision of 10,000 MW of hydro in operation or development in the province by 2015, with an additional 2,000 MW by 2017. The plan includes several objectives for meeting this goal while expanding and sustaining association membership, aboriginal participation and organizational financial health.
A full copy of the Ontario Waterpower Powerful Potential 2012-2017 Strategic Plan is available at www.owa.ca.
Speakers and partnerships
Minister of Energy Chris Bentley, Energy Critic Victor Fedeli, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Energy Board Rosemarie Leclair, and Minister of Natural Resources Michael Gravelle delivered keynote addresses discussing the value and importance of hydro in Ontario.
Leclair also discussed the recently released Ontario Energy Board report on a renewed regulatory framework for electricity distributors, a review of best practices in regulating utilities, distributors and transmitters to best provide energy to existing and future customers.
Conference delegates at the gala dinner and awards ceremony witnessed an important moment for OWA and the aboriginal community. A memorandum of understanding was signed to formalize a partnership enabling increased access to Queen’s University’s engineering program for aboriginal students.
This program, entitled the Aboriginal Access to Engineering Program, intends to encourage participation in engineering education by aboriginal students through support, career assistance and interactive resources.
Jack Cockwell receives award
Group Chairman of Brookfield Asset Management Jack Cockwell received the R.R. Dodokin Award at the awards ceremony. The award was established in 2005 to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement of hydro in Ontario.
Cockwell was credited with contributing to the foundation for a revitalized hydropower industry in Ontario. He has worked in tandem with OWA, Brookfield, and the rest of the industry to encourage private sector hydropower development in the province, OWA says.
Hydro documentary premiers
In addition, OWA premiered the documentary “Our Heritage, Our Future: The Kapuskasing River Waterpower Project,” about a partnership between the town of Kapuskasing, three First Nation communities, and Hydromega, an independent power producer in Ontario. The 22-MW project is divided between four sites along the river. Development began in 2005, and the first station is planned to be operational in 2013.
In “Development and Regeneration in Canada” in the October issue, we erroneously reported that BC Hydro’s Gordon M. Shrum Generating Station has a capacity of 261 MW. In actuality, the capacity of this plant is 2,730 MW. We regret the error.