Rio Tinto, and the Cheslatta Carrier and Haisla First Nations, has celebrated the launch of the tl’ughus TBM, a key milestone in completing the 7.6km long Kemano Second Tunnel, a CAD $600M project designed to enhance the long-term security of a clean power supply for the BC Works aluminium smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia.
The 6.5m diameter, 1,300 tonne Herrenknecht machine was named by the Cheslatta Carrier nation after a legendary giant monster snake and is decorated with artwork by Haisla Nations students.
Frontier Kemper Aecon has been selected as the main contractor for the project, with Hatch being elected the EPCM.
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Expected to be complete in 2020, construction of the Kemano Second Tunnel project will provide a further tunnel to supply the Powerhouse with water from the Nachako Reservoir and create a back up to the original tunnel that was built over 60 years ago.
Rio Tinto Aluminium managing director Altantic Operations Gervais Jacques said “Launching the tl’ughusin partnership with the Cheslatta Carrier and Haisla Nations is an important milestone for our world class aluminium operations in British Columbia. Our smelter in Kitimat produces some of the world’s lowest carbon aluminium and this project will enhance the long-term security of its supply of clean, renewable hydropower.”
BC Works general manager Gareth Manderson said “We want to thank all of our partners who are supporting this important project – from our employees, to contractors, First Nations, government and community members. It will ensure our operations continue to make a significant contribution to British Columbia’s economy into the future.”