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The Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships has recognized EPCOR and the Government of British Columbia for an innovative partnership that is ending a century of heavy metal pollution in B.C.'s Howe Sound.
The Council presented the partners with the Gold Award for Infrastructure for the Britannia Mine Water Treatment facility. Located on B.C.'s Sea-to-Sky Highway, this water treatment plant is now capturing and removing thousands of tons of heavy metal contaminants from the historic Britannia Mine, including 166,000 kilograms of copper per year – the equivalent of 70 million pennies.
"Britannia Mine had been a major source of pollution for decades," said Pat Bell, B.C. Agriculture and Lands Minister. "The successful clean-up undertaken by the Province, EPCOR and its team of partners furthers our government's goal of being a world leader in sustainable environmental management. The project team amply demonstrated the value of public private partnerships by delivering this facility on time and on budget, helping protect tax payers from cost increases so common in today's business environment."
Accountability is a central component of this partnership. During design and construction, EPCOR and its partners assumed the risks for cost overruns, schedule delays and costs related to water treatment technology and plant operation. EPCOR faced penalties if the plant was not built or operational on time. Performance-based payments are made to EPCOR based on the volume of water processed and the plant's compliance with environmental regulations.
Performance payments did not begin until the plant was in operation.
"This award recognizes EPCOR's ability to work effectively with both public and private sector partners to develop solutions that are cost-effective, and benefit communities and the environment," said Dr. Stephen Stanley, EPCOR senior vice president. "I would like to thank all of the partners who brought their commitment and expertise to this project."
EPCOR financed the facility and led an expert team during the design and construction of the $15.5 million facility. This team included Lockerbie Stanley Inc., Stantec Consulting Ltd., Canadian Environmental and Metallurgical Inc., and BioteQ. As part of the agreement, EPCOR will operate the facility for 20 years.