The new 24MW plant at Aberfeldie, on the Bull river in British Columbia, has been built as part of a Can$95M (US$84M) redevelopment of the existing 5MW scheme.

The original plant was built in 1922 and key assets, such as the major generating equipment and the woodstave penstock, had reached the end of their serviceable lives.

Approval for the redevelopment was given just over two years ago, a few months after operations ended at the plant. The redevelopment is part of the utility’s Resource Smart programme.

Companies involved in the works included Knight Piesold, Western Versatile Construction and Andritz Hydro.

Separately, BC Hydro plans to acquire a one-third stake in the Waneta dam and 490MW plant, which it said would secure approximately 1000GWh of electricity per year.

The non-binding deal with Teck Resources is valued at Can$825M (US$727M) and is subject to due diligence, consents and regulatory approvals, and is to be reviewed by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC).

Teck currently sells the excess power on the open power market, and mainly to the US. It is looking to the deal as part of a strategy to reduce debt.

The plant is located on the Pend Oreille river and primarily serves the firm’s zinc/lead smelter near Trail, British Columbia. In total, the facility generates on average approximately 2800GWh per year.

Teck said that conclusion of the deal would enable it to record a pre-tax gain of approximately Can$625M (US$551M).

An extensive article detailing the work involved in the Aberfeldie redevelopment project will be included in the July 2009 issue of International Water Power & Dam Construction magazine