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Island Business Leaders Working with BC Hydro to Prepare for $1.35 Billion John Hart Project
Island business leaders working with BC Hydro to prepare for $1.35 billion John Hart project
 
CAMPBELL RIVER– Vancouver Island business leaders are collaborating with BC Hydro to ensure that local companies are well prepared to compete for business opportunities arising out of the John Hart Generating Station Replacement project. Collaboration includes participation by the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce (CRCC), Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) and the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA).
 
The current scope of the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project includes replacing the three 1.8 KM pipelines from the John Hart Reservoir with a 2 KM tunnel, and constructing a new generating station beside the existing one.
 
The John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project’s procurement process formally begins mid-2011 with a Request for Qualifications, followed by a Request for Proposal to short-listed proponents in late 2011 with the project award by late 2012. Construction could begin at the end of 2012 and last for about five years. BC Hydro’s preliminary estimate is that the project will require about 2,000 person years of work.
 
“It’s very beneficial that BC Hydro is sharing preliminary information about the Replacement Project so early in the procurement process,” says CRCC Executive Director Colleen Evans. “It gives us the ability to work together, as a community, to prepare for the project as it nears construction.” CRCC in partnership with North Island Employment Foundation (NIEFS) recently implemented a major local research project that resulted in a business data base for linking business to the changing needs of employers and the workforce. This database was created as a result of a community-wide employer survey, the largest single-community business survey of its kind on Vancouver Island.
 
BC Hydro and community business leaders will begin sharing information about the Project with companies and customers in Campbell River and across Vancouver Island beginning in April. Through the VIEA’s Linking Island Businesses event on April 13, BC Hydro will present information about the project, including procurement and high level construction information. The following day, on April 14, BC Hydro is sponsoring a Campbell River Chamber of Commerce Luncheon to provide information to Chamber members and local businesses on the John Hart project, procurement and construction details.
 
“As BC Hydro’s John Hart project moves through the procurement phase there will be opportunities for the Island business community to be informed and work together, and to kick this off, we are pleased to see them at the Linking Island Business event,” said VIEA President Cori Lynn Germiquet. “This model of collaboration for Vancouver Island demonstrates how successful we can all be when industry, business, communities and economic development all work together towards a common goal.”
 
The Vancouver Island Construction Association, with a membership of about 500 companies across Vancouver Island, is working with BC Hydro to showcase Island businesses.
 
“In a procurement process for a large project like John Hart, our membership is not typically contacted by the competing proponents,” said VICA President Greg Baynton. “If they are contacted it would not be until the contract has been formally awarded. To be engaged by BC Hydro months before the formal initiation of the procurement process is helpful in BC Hydro encouraging the proponents to communicate with business leaders after the RFP is issued and before the award.”
 
“BC Hydro is hopeful that First Nations, the Campbell River community and the surrounding region will have an opportunity to be directly involved and benefit economically from the project construction,” said BC Hydro’s John Hart Project Manager, Randy Richardson. “While we understandably cannot guarantee project work, any initiative the community embarks upon to showcase the strengths and attributes of its businesses and people, increases the possibility for economic benefits associated with the John Hart Project. This year we will focus on providing project information so that the business community can prepare. We are pleased to work with these business leaders on the John Hart project, but perhaps as important, this collaboration could become a catalyst or model for other large projects to work in the same manner.”
 
To find out more about the VIEA April 13 event go to: http://www.viea.ca. For information about the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce Luncheon go to:http://www.campbellriverchamber.ca. To look at the construction business directory go to:http://www.vicabc.ca.
 
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For more information, please contact:
Colleen Evans, Campbell River Chamber of Commerce
250-287-4513
 
Cori Lynn Germiquet, Vancouver Island Economic Alliance
250-240-5157
 
Greg Baynton, Vancouver Island Construction Association
250-388-6471
 
Stephen Watson, BC Hydro
250-755-4795
 

— 
Cori Lynn Germiquet 
President 
Vancouver Island Economic Alliance 
250-240-5157 

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