The director of Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask generating station construction project says that speedier progress on the dam during the winter months has pushed the date for the first unit to be in service by the fall of 2020, ahead of the August 2021 schedule.
“We placed 20,000 cubic metres of concrete through the past winter, which allowed us to make 60 per cent of the shortfall from 2017,” said Dave Bowen in the summer 2018 Keeyask Project Manager Update newsletter.
Shortening the construction period reduces the cost of the project, currently pegged at $8.7 billion, well above original estimates, but work performed in the winter is more expensive, he said.
“We have to balance that trade-off when we pursue these opportunities,” Bowen said.
What’s more, he said, further improvement is needed.
“We need a further 10 per cent improvement across the board by BBE Ltd., our General Civil Contractor (GCC), and no major risks to materialize if we are going to keep to the control budget,” said Bowen. “The scope of work within the General Civil Contract holds the majority of risk that affects our ability to meet the budget and in-service date. Once we determined a 10 per cent improvement is required, BBE rose to the challenge and set their target for a 30 per cent improvement for the remaining work. If BBE is not successful, then our project is not successful.”
Manitoba Hydro staff have also identified more than 100 ideas with potential savings of greater than half-a-billion dollars to help complete the project within the budget.
In 2018, earthworks progress to support river diversion through the spillway was completed, powerhouse units 4 and 5 were enclosed and 105,000 cubic metres of concrete was put in place.