Milestone at Arctic Circle construction project

By Andy Brown29 August 2019

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The project is located south of the Arctic Circle

The Bechtel, Barnard and EllisDon (BBE) team building the general civil works of the Keeyask Generating Station Project in Canada have celebrated five-years on site.

Located ten degrees south of the Arctic Circle, the project faces temperatures as low as -40ºC with wind chill as low as -60ºC (-76º F).

Keeyask is the contractor Bechtel’s most remote project, and is also one of the coldest climates that the company has faced during its 120-year history.

When complete, water will move through the plant at about 4,000m3 per second, producing enough energy to power 400,000 homes and adding approximately 4,400 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity per year to Manitoba Hydro’s total supply.

To maintain steady progress, the BBE team has worked through the last three winters.

“Building through a Canadian winter with such a large civil works scope was unheard of when we started, and we had to be innovative to prevent everything from freezing. Insulation and heating were key to keeping our concrete placements achievable and our workforce comfortable,” said J.Q. Hicks, Bechtel project manager.

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Work has been ongoing for more than five years

According to the BBE team, 100% of the earthworks and concrete aggregate construction materials are sourced on the Keeyask site. Sourcing content on site is more sustainable and has simplified logistics.

The team is aiming to complete all permanent earthworks by the end of the year.

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