Construction Contract Awarded for Northwest Transmission Line

Sept. 21, 2011
BC Hydro has chosen a contractor to design and build the Northwest Transmission Line (NTL).

BC Hydro has chosen a contractor to design and build the Northwest Transmission Line (NTL). The successful companies are Valard Construction, a Quanta Services company and Burns & McDonnell. The team will be responsible for the design, materials procurement and overall construction of the transmission line. The selection follows a competitive process that included a request for qualification that was posted on BC Bid, followed by a rigorous evaluation of proposals submitted by three contractors to design and build the Northwest Transmission Line.

Once complete, the NTL project will provide clean, reliable power to the Northwest region of British Columbia, Canada which is currently not part of the BC Hydro grid.

Hon. Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines, said “B.C.’s resource sector is a driving force for our rural communities, and we need to find ways to support its growth. Families and businesses will benefit from the construction of the Northwest Transmission Line that will generate regional employment and attract new investment.”

Dave Cobb, President and CEO, BC Hydro, said. “We are pleased to have selected two high-quality contractors in the team of Valard Construction and Burns & McDonnell to build and design the Northwest Transmission Line. Both companies are leaders in the industry and these companies will provide the highest overall value to our ratepayers at the most cost-effective price.”

Jim O’Neil, President and CEO, Quanta Services, added "Our resources and capabilities compliment our strong commitment to working with the local First Nations and communities to ensure efficient and safe execution of this project while maximizing local benefits. We appreciate BC Hydro's confidence in our company to help further their quest to deliver clean, reliable energy to their customers."

Walt Womack, President of the Transmission & Distribution Division, Burns & McDonnell, said “On behalf of the 3,000 employee owners of Burns & McDonnell, I want to say we are extremely proud to have been selected for a project that will improve power reliability and open up economic opportunities for towns and residents of northern BC. We are ready to put our experience and dedication to work for British Columbians who are watching this project closely.”

Project details

• The Northwest Transmission Line is part of BC Hydro’s regeneration strategy, which is renewing and expanding the province’s electricity system. BC Hydro is improving and replacing aging infrastructure originally built primarily between 1950 and 1980. Improvements will range from upgrading dams and generating stations, to building entirely new transmission lines linking existing and new substations.

• The NTL will be a 344-km, 287-km transmission line from Skeena Substation, near Terrace, to Bob Quinn Lake. The project will provide a secure interconnection point for clean energy generation projects and supply clean electricity to support future industrial developments in the area.

• Construction of the NTL will begin shortly. The NTL project is scheduled to be in service in December 2013.

• The NTL is estimated to create up to 840 direct jobs during the three years of construction. According to a 2008 report from the Mining Association of B.C., the NTL also has the potential to attract $15 billion in new investment and create more than 10,000 jobs over the next few decades.

• To build local skills in advance of the NTL project, BC Hydro recently funded and coordinated skills training opportunities to Nisga’a Nation and First Nations in the area. BC Hydro will also provide direct employment to First Nations and Nisga'a Nation members in the region with a number of direct awards for NTL project work, such as access road construction and right-of-way clearing work.

More information on the NTL project, is available at BC Hydro web site at

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!