Contractor seems to have ‘abandoned’ North Shore wastewater plant, says Metro Vancouver

Construction on the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant. North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant

Officials with Metro Vancouver say the contractor building a new billion-dollar wastewater treatment plant on the North Shore appears to have “abandoned the project.”

“On Wednesday, September 29, without notice, Metro Vancouver learned that the contractor of the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant Project, Acciona Wastewater Solutions LP, significantly reduced staff working on the project,” Metro Vancouver spokesperson Amanda McCuaig said in an email.

Metro Vancouver says it revised its contract with Acciona in 2019, giving it two-and-a-half additional years to complete the project, with a new target date of the end of 2023.

“While Metro Vancouver has continued to uphold the terms of the contract, including making all payments due, Acciona Wastewater Solutions LP has fallen behind meeting key milestones,” McCuaig said.

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Acciona did not respond to a request for comment.

Metro Vancouver said it remained “committed” to the project, and were reviewing options on how to proceed. It was unclear how the current setback would affect the project timeline.

It’s not the first time the project has faced controversy.

Earlier this year, Metro Vancouver revealed the final cost of the project had ballooned to more than $1 billion with an in-service date of 2024, up from an estimated cost of $700 million with a 2020 completion date in 2017.

When completed, the new facility will serve North and West Vancouver, as well as the Squamish Nation.

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It’s designed to replace the current wastewater plant under the Lions Gate Bridge, which was built in 1961.

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