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Watay Power selects pre-qualified contractors for power project

Engineer finalizing details of RFP documents
Transmission line

Wataynikaneyap Power has approved four proponents to bid on the construction of its power transmission project.

The $1.6-billion Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project will construct 1,800 kilometres of transmission lines across northwestern Ontario, connecting 17 remote Indigenous communities to the provincial power grid for the first time.

Released on Sept. 18, the list of pre-qualified proponents includes:

  • Forbes Bros. Ltd. (PenneCon),
  • Power North Contractors JV ( PowerTel, Kiewit and SNC-L),
  • Valard Construction LP, of Edmonton, AB, and
  • Voltage Power Ltd. (Sigfusson, Anishnawabe Construction Corporation).

These four contractors will now receive the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package outlining details for Phases 1 and 2 of the project.

Watay said that Hatch, the engineer on the project, would continue working to release the project’s full request for proposals (RFP) documents.

“The announcement of the pre-qualified proponents is the next step for this exciting project,” said Margaret Kenequanash, CEO of Wataynikaneyap Power, in the release.

“Upon receipt of regulatory approvals, the upcoming construction phase of the project is a critical milestone to connecting 17 First Nations to reliable accessible power.”

Wataynikaneyap Power is a licensed transmission project company jointly owned by 22 First Nations communities. Watay owns a 51 per cent stake in the transmission project, while Fortis Ontario holds the remaining 49 per cent and acts as project manager.

Last March, the provincial and federal governments announced $1.6 billion in funding for the project. The funding framework allows for a viable transmission business with First Nations and Fortis Inc. participating as the equity investors. 

Once connected, the affected communities will eliminate their reliance on diesel fuel for power, reducing costs, lessening the negative environmental impact, enhancing residents’ health and safety, and improving opportunities for economic development.