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Wed December 01 2021

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Acciona kicked off Canadian wastewater project

18 Oct The Metro Vancouver local authority federation in Canada is to terminate Acciona’s contract for a major wastewater treatment plant, claiming underperformance.

It has initiated the termination process for the contract with Acciona Wastewater Solutions LP; it has provided a letter to the company and a notice of default in relation to the contract for the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“Acciona has underperformed and consistently failed to meet its contractual obligations which include delivering the project on time and within budget, as required under the initial fixed-cost design-build-finance model,” said Jerry Dobrovolny, commissioner and CAO of Metro Vancouver. “This project is already two and a half years behind schedule, and they've informed us that they require an additional two years. They've also asked for an increase in budget which would almost double the original contract price. Choosing to initiate termination was a difficult but necessary decision after considering all other options. Our priority is protecting the interests of our region by delivering this project as quickly as possible with the smallest possible impact to residents.”

Metro Vancouver will now proceed with selecting a new contractor to deliver the project, and has engaged a panel of advisors with extensive experience in major capital infrastructure projects to review the process of selecting a new contractor, overall project design, and revised budget and schedule.

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The federal and provincial governments are providing joint funding of up to CA$405m (£238m) towards the construction of the plant.

Acciona Wastewater Solutions was selected through a competitive process in 2017 to construct the project. The original completion date of the project was end of 2020. In 2019, at the request of the contractor, the contract was revised to provide an additional two-and-a-half years to complete the project (end of 2023), along with an increased budget. Metro Vancouver said that it continued to uphold the terms of the contract, including making all payments due in a timely fashion. However, it claimed that Acciona Wastewater Solutions LP has missed key construction milestones.

When complete, the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant will serve more than 250,000 residents of the Districts of West and North Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver and the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, and provide tertiary treatment to better protect the environment. 

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