Minister 'very concerned' by BC Hydro's latest Site C report
An artist's rendering shows the proposed Site C Dam.
VANCOUVER -- B.C.'s minister of energy, mines and petroleum says a report on a dam under construction in northeastern B.C. has him "very concerned."
Speaking to media Friday, Bruce Ralston said BC Hydro's latest progress report, sent to the B.C. Utilities Commission, suggests the COVID-19 created "significant challenges" for the Site C project.
The report filed Friday suggests work on several parts of the project are at risk of being delayed.
Six in-service dates were flagged as being "at risk," including the "first power" date of December 2023.
Also in the report is the suggestion that impacts to scheduling and completion dates will likely effect the project's cost, though BC Hydro writes COVID-19's financial impact "cannot be estimated at this time."
More details are available in the report, including a breakdown of the project's most recent estimated cost of $10.7 billion.
"In March, BC Hydro scaled down the project significantly and focused only on essential work and meeting crucial milestones, particularly river diversion," Ralston said.
"While the project remains on track to achieve river diversion this coming fall, there is uncertainty with the project's schedule and budget due to the ongoing pandemic."
Ralston said his ministry is appointing a special advisor to work with BC Hydro on the project.
That advisor is Peter Milburn, former deputy minister of finance.