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BC Hydro awards contract for Site C turbines and generators

Contract will create jobs and apprenticeship opportunities for skilled workers

VICTORIA – The Site C Clean Energy Project reached another important milestone today with the award of the turbines and generators contract to Voith Hydro Inc.

The contract has a value of approximately $470 million and includes the design, supply and installation of six vertical axis, Francis-style turbines, six generators and associated equipment.

With nearly 150 workers slated to be on-site during the peak of installation in 2022, the contract is expected to create approximately 400 person-years of employment resulting in job opportunities for millwrights, electricians, pipefitters, boilermakers, and other trades.

The performance of a turbine-generator is critical to the success of a hydroelectric project. These turbines and generators are custom designed to suit the site-specific conditions of each hydroelectric facility. This made identifying the highest value design essential to BC Hydro’s efforts.

A rigorous evaluation process concluded that Voith has a strong delivery record for projects of a similar size and nature and best met BC Hydro’s requirements for the Site C turbines and generators contract. Voith has provided equipment for a number of BC Hydro projects, including: Revelstoke Unit 5 Project, Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse Upgrade, and the Gordon M. Shrum Turbine Replacement Project.

Voith Hydro, through the Construction Labour Relations Association, has negotiated a labour agreement with the Bargaining Council of British Columbia Building Trades Unions, which represents construction craft unions in B.C. The labour agreement includes participation from 10 BC Building Trades Unions for the installation of the turbines and generators for Site C.

BC Hydro issued a Request for Qualifications in July 2012 and shortlisted three proponent teams to provide proposals for the contract. The Request for Proposals was issued in February 2013 and BC Hydro received proposals from all three teams in July 2015. The turbines and generators contract is included within the $8.335 billion cost estimate for Site C.


Premier Christy Clark:
“Site C will help meet the increasing energy needs of B.C.’s growing economy by providing clean power for more than 100 years, and this contract is another major milestone towards achieving it.”

Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines:
“I’m happy to see the Site C project advancing its major procurements. This project continues to make very good progress. The turbines and generators are one of the most important components of the Site C project, and it’s great to see the BC Building Trades getting jobs from this contract.”

Jessica McDonald, President and CEO, BC Hydro:
“A rigorous multi-year competitive selection process resulted in several high quality proposals. Voith was selected because of its strong track record with similar complex projects, and its proposal offered BC Hydro the highest value design, within budget.”

Mike Bernier, MLA, Peace River South:
“I’m encouraged by the continued progress being made by the Site C project. At a time when the northeast economy is being impacted by a downturn in the natural resource sector, Site C is providing jobs and business opportunities for Peace region communities.”

Pat Pimm, MLA, Peace River North:
“The turbines and generators are a critical component of the Site C project as they ultimately convert the water into electricity. This award highlights a number of key benefits created by the Site C project including the creation of new jobs and new opportunities in the local community and within British Columbia.”

Bill Malus, President and CEO, Voith Hydro Canada:
“Site C is currently the biggest energy infrastructure project in Canada. We are proud to bring new power generation capacity to the province and we remain committed to the continued development of clean, sustainable energy.”

Clyde Scollan, President and CEO, Construction Labour Relations Association of BC:
“We are pleased to have been able to represent Voith Hydro in the project labour agreement negotiations for this critical component to the Site C development. The skills and training of the craft workers that will install the six turbines and generators was a driving factor in the negotiation of the agreement for this part of the project. We look forward to supporting the Voith Hydro team when the onsite construction work begins.”

Brian Zdrilic, Business Manager, Millwrights, Machine Erectors and Maintenance Local Union 2736:
"The Bargaining Council of Building Trades Unions successfully negotiated a project labour agreement with Voith Hydro for the installation of the six turbines and generators on the Site C project. The unions are pleased to be in partnership with Voith Hydro on this project and look forward to completing the project in a safe and efficient manner."

Quick Facts:

  • At maximum discharge, all of the turbine-generator units could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in one second.
  • The fuselage of a Boeing 747 could fit through the penstock.
  • Each turbine-generator unit has an output of 250,000 horsepower, which is equivalent to about 600 Ford Mustang GTs at maximum power.
  • In one-year, a point on the end of the rotor will travel five times the distance from the moon to the Earth (2,000,000 km)

Once built, Site C will provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity for more than 100 years. It will provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of about 450,000 homes per year.

To view a video of the Site C turbines and generators, visit:

For more information:

Stephen Smart
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier

Suntanu Dalal, Media Relations
Ministry of Energy and Mines

BC Hydro Media Relations