Hydro One has narrowed its search for engineering companies to build the proposed Waasigan Transmission Line project in northwestern Ontario.
Valard is currently building the new east-west power line between Wawa and Thunder Bay.
Hydro One says a transmission line between Thunder Bay, Atikokan and Dryden would bring additional power to the region to support and attract mining and forestry activities, supply chains, industry and businesses.
In a statement, the utility said it completed a comprehensive market evaluation to identify the most experienced contractors in the electrical transmission industry.
It said the evaluation focused on ensuring the selected companies are experienced leaders in Indigenous inclusion, procurement and employment, and demonstrate high health, safety and environmental qualifications..
Forbes and Valard will both be involved in the early stages of project development, which Hydro One said will allow for additional planning, collaboration and innovation.
Following this process – called Early Contractor Involvement, or ECI – one company will be selected for project construction.
Hydro One's vice-president, Daniel Levitan, described the project as a critical investment in the transmission system.
The utility has submitted the terms of reference (ToR) for the project to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for review.
Once approved, the ToR will set the framework for how the environmental assessment of the project will proceed.
That includes the process of selecting a preferred route for the power lines.