Bluefish Hydro Expansion

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Client: Miramar Con Mine
Location: Northwest Territories, Canada

POWER designed a 4MW expansion to an existing 3.5 MW hydroelectric plant operated by Miramar Con Mine to help power its underground gold mine operations. The project involved a feasibility study of plant expansion alternatives, including transmission line and substation upgrade alternatives, and alternatives to replacement of an existing penstock. POWER designed and specified construction of a power plant, powerhouse, associated controls, switchgear, substation facilities and penstock piping to connect up with a new intake tunnel designed and built by Miramar. The power plant allows the mine to double its generation capacity and significantly reduce operating costs.

The project was built on a fast-track schedule accommodating the extreme seasonal climate just south of the Arctic Circle. The extremes in weather required the transportation of equipment by barge in the summer, ice road in the winter, and C-130 transport airplane during the spring breakup and fall freezing periods. The on-site operations included a camp for construction workers, a rock crushing plant and a concrete batch plant. Concrete was poured for foundations in temperatures dropping to minus 40 F.