Partners in the Waneta Expansion Project west of Nelson — Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation, and Columbia Basin Trust — have announced another major milestone has been reached with the substantial completion of intake and tunnel excavation.
“With the excavation portion of the project complete, the Waneta Expansion remains on budget and on schedule for completion in 2015,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines. “So far this clean energy project has brought $80 million in economic benefits and over 300 jobs to the Columbia Basin.”
The contractor, SNC-Lavalin Inc., has been working hard to complete this excavation work so the concrete linings in the tunnels can begin.
An Italian-made $1 million travelling tunnel form has been assembled onsite and will be key during the concrete lining process. The collapsible steel walls of the form create seamlessly lined tunnels which are engineered to withstand hydrostatic water pressure. The concrete lining will include a high fly ash content to maximize strength and flow efficiency.
“Completion of the intake and tunnel excavation is another milestone for this $900 million project,” said Jane Bird, Columbia Power Corporation president and CEO, speaking on behalf of the Waneta Expansion Project.
In total, over 62,000 cubic metres of rock was removed from the tunnels and adit. Another 78,000 cubic metres of rock and 19,000 cubic metres of overburden were removed from the intake. All of the excavated materials were hauled safely and without major incident. The rock will be available for reuse in future highway and other infrastructure projects in the area.
Other major construction activities onsite include form and concrete work in the powerhouse and service bay areas.
The project is focused on a high standard of safety, quality and environmental protection and is committed to delivering local benefits.
The Waneta Expansion Project is a partnership between Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation, and Columbia Basin Trust. For more information visit columbiapower.org/wanetaexpansion.