BC Hydro

Curious deal in BC’s pay-to-play economy

BC Hydro news release, February 28, 2014:

CAMPBELL RIVER — BC Hydro has signed a contract with InPower BC for the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project, which includes the construction of an innovative, underground powerhouse that will enhance public safety and improve the site’s environmental footprint.

…InPower BC is a special purpose project company in which SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. has 100 per cent interest. SNC-Lavalin will run the project out of its Vancouver office….

The Campbell River Mirror reported the John Hart budget to be $1.35 billion.

From a website of SNC-Lavalin:

In early 2014, BC Hydro awarded SNC-Lavalin a contract to design, build, finance and maintain the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. The project will create [have] an installed capacity of 132 MW. The new facility will replace the existing 126-MW station…

pix MW

Note that BC Hydro said SNC-Lavalin has a 100% interest in the new generating facility near Campbell River. It remains under construction and is a considerable way from completion. However, even though SNC-Lavalin, the scandal-plagued company that has been banned from World Bank funded contracts for ten years, owns 100% of the project, it is not paying 100% of its cost.

Keep in mind that not a single KWh of electricity has been delivered from the new John Hart facility and another year has passed since Hydro’s last FIA report of expenditures. According to its annual Financial Information Act returns to March 2016, BC Hydro paid:


19 replies »

  1. Hello Norm: The LA Times has an article about Christy Clarke in their newspaper today.

    British Columbia, once a leader in fighting climate change, embraces fossil fuels

    “They definitely have horses on either side of the wagon,” Tarika Powell, who studies fossil fuel exports for Sightline Institute, a Seattle think tank, said of the British Columbia government. “And they are going in opposite directions.”

    Clark, who took office in 2011, leads the conservative but incongruously named BC Liberal Party … Clark has shown little interest in climate leadership.

    Like the proposed LNG projects, the Trans Mountain pipeline is intended to help Canadian fossil fuels reach markets in Asia, as well as the West Coast of the United States. It would transport nearly 900,000 barrels a day, creating as much as a sevenfold increase in the number of ships navigating Vancouver’s spectacular but fragile waterfront.

    The ships would gather in front of the sunsets in English Bay, pass close to Stanley Park, travel under the graceful Lions Gate Bridge and ply the shallow and narrow Burrard Inlet on their way inland to the town of Burnaby, the terminus of the pipeline and the site of what would be a greatly expanded tank farm near the entrance to Simon Fraser University.

    “There’s a lot of opportunity for bad things to happen in a confined area,” said Derek Corrigan, the mayor of Burnaby, which is fighting the pipeline along with the city of Vancouver, many First Nations and environmental groups.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. So the original John Hart was a hydro plant owned by BC Hydro, built in 1947.

    InPower will be paid to design, build, finance and maintain the John Hart Generating Station Replacement, but I assume BC Hydro will still own the plant.

    According to this link, the contract between BC Hydro and InPower is a P3:


    So the estimated cost to (publicly-owned) BC Hydro for the replacement is $1.35 billion.

    It sounds like the $billion smart meter contract.

    Huge private benefit and huge public cost.

    PS, we just got our annual hydro rate hike on April 1:


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmmm,
      Well lets see. BC Hydro Contracts, BC Ferries contracts, Highway contracts, Bridge contracts, and on and on and on.
      They’ve made billions…….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What if, if the NDP win, they permit IPP to not be required to sell their electricity to BC Hydro, but directly outside of British Columbia? What if BC Hydro’s only goal is to supply British Columbians electricity and NOT give sweetheart deals to mining companies et al. What if

    Liked by 1 person

    • Extricating BC Hydro from almost $60 billion (plus inflation) of private power contracts (some of which last until 2075) may be the mother of all court fights. (The Quebec award of $15 billion against tobacco companies is one of the largest ever.)

      Since we cannot look at the contracts, we have no way of knowing what sort of cancellation or penalty clauses exist but we can be safely certain they won’t favour the public,

      I have concerns about the no-pay power provided mining companies as well. Now over $100 million and rising at $8 million a month, will the deferred billings ever be collectible or are there secret agreements that will see the amounts written off?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have absolutely no doubt that when Christy Clark, upon leaving politics…..

    SNC Lavalin will announce ( after what they consider an appropriate amount of time of course) that “Cash for Meetings Christy” will be awarded a position somewhere in the company with an exorbitant salary to match……
    You can be assured that when SNC bid on the original contract her eventual “salary” was factored in…….
    Its a shame that corporate appointments after politicians leave office arent BANNED for at least 5 years upon leaving office.
    Canadian politicians….a new, lower level of stench

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So Hydro has already paid SNC Lavelin/InPower about 1/3 of the total cost… even though no power has been produced yet?

    At the current rate: in 10 years, the total cost will have been covered by Hydro. What is SNC Lavelin doing that Hydro couldn’t be doing themselves? This stinks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Let us not forget that Gwyn Morgan, past CEO of SNC Lavalin, is one of Clark’s top advisors.

    Let us not forget that SNC Lavalin hold the “engineering” patents for the proprietary ALRT/ART SkyTrain, thus are involved in all ART SkyTrain construction (hint: the now proposed $3 billion SkyTrain Broadway subway) in Metro Vancouver.

    Let us not forger that a SNC Lavalin/Hyundai consortium bid against a SNC Lavalin/Bombardier consortium for the Canada Line light/heavy rail metro, known as the Canada line. This was a bidding process, which Judge Pittfield, who presided over the Susan Heyes lawsuit, called a “charade”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. those big projects which are built/controlled, etc by the friends of Christy Clark are simply just another method for the B.C. lieberals to transfer public money to private friends. the hart dam is simply another e.g. If there is cancellation of a project you can bet there is a clause which will pay out the companies, big time. If the clauses aren’t there now, they will be shortly. Those companies all donated to Christy and they want their money’s worth.

    we can only hope people go out and vote on election day if for no other reason but to get the electrical rates under control.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/supreme-court-canada-review-churchill-falls-energy-deal-1.4077258

    Don’t pretend to know all the facts here, but all those IPP contracts etc, singed the the liberals since 2001, (and others – health etc) maybe there is a challenge to be had here also. FixedLONG TERM/, certainly not in the interests of “British Columbians” in my opinion. Look what the current government has done to BC Hydro, ICBC, and the list goes on. Court challenge?


  9. Hello Norm: Is it likely that Christy Clark will become the new leader of the BC Conservatives if she losses the May 9th election? Notice the close branding between Federal Conservative signs and the “New” BC Liberals. The one common theme is that Stephen Harper spent millions for re-election on a long campaign … just like Christy Clark. She appears to be emptying the BC Liberal petty cash drawer.

    Notice the colour and the similar appearance of the BC Liberal – Federal Conservative campaign signs.




  10. Hello Norm…
    Just read a small article(April 23, 2017) in the times colonist about the John Hart generating station by Carla Wilson. Her article is so shallow in content compared to what you have produced that it is almost as if there are two John Hart projects under construction. There isn’t a shadow of doubt in my mind that this is a simple minded press release from the CC office of pablum news to keep the rate payers from knowing the truth about this project. When they use the phrase, On Budget and on Schedule then it is obvious who is behind this release.
    One thing that concerns me is the completion date of Fall 2018 and the fact it is controlled by SNC-Lavalin, who I am sure will make the rate payers wish that this project had never been undertaking under the guise of making the old station Earthquake Proof. And who can honestly say that what they have created is any less prone to earthquake damage? Mike


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