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Final Utilities Commission report into Site C dam due Wednesday

NDP government sends Site C for review
Wed, Aug 2: NDP government sends Site C for review

The provincial government has confirmed that a final report into the viability of the Site C dam should be complete by its Wednesday deadline.

Back in August, B.C.’s NDP government ordered the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) to review the controversial $8.9 billion project.

READ MORE: More questions than answers in Utilities Commission’s preliminary Site C report

The commission has been tasked with evaluating the costs and benefits of potentially carrying through with the dam, suspending it until 2024 or killing it all together.

A preliminary report on the dam was delivered in mid-September.

That report found that the project was on track for its scheduled 2024 completion date.

However, it asserted that a lack of information in virtually all other areas prevented it from offering findings on whether the project was on budget, or what the costs to ratepayers would be to suspend or cancel it.

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READ MORE: Alternative power $2B to $4B cheaper than Site C says international energy consultant

The preliminary report also raised significant concerns about project financing, warning that just two years into an eight-year project, Site C has already burned through 45 per cent of its $794 million contingency budget.

It also found that BC Hydro underestimated the cost of its main civil works contract, and that if the case is similar for the two other major contracts that will define the project, it could derail the budget.

Earlier in October, B.C. Hydro admitted it would miss a critical construction milestone to divert the Peace River by 2019, a delay it said would not interfere with the final completion date, but one that will add $600 million to the final tab, bringing it to $8.9 billion.

Another report commissioned by the Peace Valley Landowners’ Association determined cancelling Site C right now would save as much as $1.6-billion dollars.

Cabinet is expected to make a final decision on the project by the end of the year.