- Location: Gillam, Manitoba, Canada
- Owner: Manitoba Hydro
- Engineer(s): Hatch
- Partner(s): Bechtel, EllisDon
- Contract Type: Design-Assist, Shared Risk
The Keeyask Project is part of Manitoba Hydro’s overall plan to meet the future energy needs of Manitoba, Canada. This plan includes developing clean, renewable hydro resources and building transmission interconnections to take advantage of associated export sale opportunities and enhance reliability. Development of Keeyask is a collaborative effort between Manitoba Hydro and four Manitoba First Nations – Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, York Factory First Nation and Fox Lake Cree Nation – working together as the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership (KHLP). The Keeyask Generating Station, currently under construction, will provide 695 megawatts when it is completed in 2021, and be the fourth-largest generating station in Northern Manitoba. Together, the powerhouse’s seven units will be capable of producing enough electricity to supply about 400,000 homes.
In March 2014, Manitoba Hydro signed a contract with BBE Hydro Constructors LP (BBE), a limited partnership that includes Barnard, Bechtel and Canadian contractor EllisDon, to construct this challenging hydroelectric project.
The vast site and the powerful Nelson River require extensive site preparation and cofferdam and dyke construction, behind which the powerhouse can be constructed. After contributing to design completion through an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) phase, our team began excavating for the new 695 MW powerhouse; constructing or site prep for the new spillway structure with seven bays; three zoned rockfill dams with till cores; cofferdams that reroute the lower Nelson River during construction; and earthfill dykes totaling 23 km to contain the powerhouse forebay.
The new spillway will include motorized vertical lift gates, a bridge and a permanent roadway on top as well as seven ogee sections poured following diversion of the river. North Dam will be 99 meters long; Center Dam will be 1600 meters long; and South Dam will be 565 meters long. Dyke elevations range from 13 to 20 meters and also include a roadway on top for maintenance and inspection access. The project’s remote location required construction of a 2,000-person camp. The team continues to address the challenging logistics of material and personnel scheduling and delivery.