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Waneta partnership formalized

 Columbia Power Corporation (CPC) and Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) announced today that they have formally signed a partnership agreement with Fortis Inc. (Fortis) to construct the Waneta Expansion Hydroelectric Project, south of Trail, BC. The agreement will see Fortis with a 51-per-cent share of the project, CPC with 32.5 per cent and CBT with a 16.5-per-cent share. CPC will act as project manager for the partners during construction.

In addition, the partners have formalized a design-build contract with SNC-Lavalin Inc. to act as the contractor for construction of the Waneta Expansion Project.
 
“As the only government MLA for the Kootenays, I know how important this source of clean energy is to the region,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “It will bring approximately 400 jobs and $200 million in wages and benefits to the region, as well as providing clean, renewable, reliable, cost-effective power to all British Columbians.”
 
“The signing of the partnership agreement is a significant milestone,” said Jane Bird, president and CEO for Columbia Power Corporation. “We are pleased to have Fortis Inc. and Columbia Basin Trust as partners on this highly anticipated project. We, and our partners, are confident that SNC-Lavalin Inc., with its expertise and experience, will build this project safely, on time and on budget.”
 
The Waneta Expansion project will bring benefits to local communities, including the creation of over 400 jobs during the four and a half year construction period, provide approximately $200 million in wages and benefits and inject over $178 million into the local economy through the purchase of goods and services.
 
“We are extremely pleased to finally see this project moving forward. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work on the part of all the partners and government in getting to this stage,” said Neil Muth, president and CEO for CBT. “Having these agreements in place means construction is expected to start soon, bringing much-needed jobs and benefits to the region.”
 
The Waneta Expansion Project is the third project undertaken by Crown corporations CPC and CBT. Their previous projects include the construction of the 185MW Arrow Lakes Generating Station and the 120MW Brilliant Expansion, both near Castlegar. They also own the 145MW Brilliant Dam and Generating Station, which they purchased in 1996. On Aug. 26, 2010, they announced that they were entering into a partnership with Fortis Inc. for the construction of the Waneta Expansion Project.
 
For more information on Columbia Power Corporation, visit their website at: www.columbiapower.org. For information on Columbia Basin Trust, visit: www.cbt.org.