The Financial Post reports in its Saturday edition that British Columbia's Site C hydroelectric dam has risen in cost by over $5-billion and been delayed by a year, bringing the price tag of the megaproject to $16-billion and stretching the completion date to 2025.
A Canadian Press dispatch to the Post quotes Premier John Horgan saying on Friday that the project is halfway complete and the skyrocketing expenses and construction setbacks are due to geotechnical issues, COVID-19 and other cost and schedule pressures.
He told a news conference that the project was beset with challenges when it was started by the previous provincial government, but it must be completed because it is past the point where cancellation makes economic sense; cancelling the project now would mean laying off 4,500 workers and a sunk cost of $10-billion.
The province said that the average ratepayer would face a 26-per-cent increase on their bills over the next 10 years if Site C was scrapped.
The province said continuing with the project means the costs will be recovered through rates over the 70-year lifespan of the dam. COVID-19 and geotechnical issues represent about half of the more than $5-billion in additional costs.
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