Ontario Power Generation has announced that work is progressing on the Little Long Dam Safety project in northeast Ontario, Canada, with the project set to improve dam safety on the Mattagami River in the event of extreme weather events.

Once major construction is completed by the end of 2023, said OPG, the project will increase the discharge capacity at the eight-gate Adam Creek spillway structure located on the Little Long Reservoir.

This work will ensure extreme floodwater can safely bypass OPG’s four Lower Mattagami River stations – Little Long, Smoky Falls, Harmon and Kipling generating stations – in the event of large-scale flooding in the area. It also helps OPG comply with updated dam safety requirements established by the Province of Ontario.

“The project will strengthen our infrastructure in the area to ensure public safety and the safety of the environment, while helping our hydro stations continue to operate safely and efficiently,” said Ahmad Al-Ali, Project Manager with OPG.

A key action in OPG’s new Climate Change Plan is adaptation, which includes strengthening the company’s operations and infrastructure to be resilient against climate-related impacts. The plan also highlights continued investment in OPG’s hydro operations as an important part of becoming a net-zero carbon company by 2040.

In addition to protecting the community and environment, the project is providing a number of employment and contracting opportunities for nearby residents in Kapuskasing and Smooth Rock Falls, as well as Indigenous businesses and communities like Moose Cree First Nation, whose homeland territory hosts the work site.

A total of 46 Indigenous workers have been hired on by the main contractor, Kiewit, as of February 2021. That includes Violet Montgomery, a Moose Cree member who is working as an Environmental Technician. Members from the Taykwa Tagamou Nation are also helping support the project.

It is estimated that a total of $32 million in contracts will be awarded to Indigenous and local businesses throughout the project. Currently, 100 per cent of the project’s contractor vendors are from Canada, with more than 75 per cent from Ontario.

In northeast Ontario, north of Kapuskasing, construction is progressing on the Little Long Dam Safety project to improve dam safety on the Mattagami River.