British Columbia Sun

North Shore, wastewater treatment project, indict Metro Vancouver


Key takeaways: 

  • Acciona is pursuing $250 million in damages and outstanding bills for wrongful and unneeded termination.
  • The firm was booted from constructing the $1-billion.

The firm booted from constructing the $1-billion North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant is indicting Metro Vancouver for $250 million in damages and due bills. 

In documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Acciona Wastewater Solutions L.P. said the provincial government wrongfully and unnecessarily revoked building agreements mid-project, despite reasonable faith measures to fix the many problems.

“Metro Vancouver declares it ended the North Shore agreement because of uncertainties and price overruns in completing the wastewater plant, overlooking the fact that its administration of the project was a primary cause of most of the issues, and changing contractors mid-project will cost taxpayers more and take longer to finish the project,” said a release from the firm.

The company argues it was not liable for most of the 1,000-plus changes made to the initial project, nor the consequent uncertainties and expense increases.

The extra steel required to ensure the design was resilient to earthquakes drove the budget over the $1 billion mark.

Also read: Vancouver council selects areas for three stations on offered SkyTrain extension 

Wastewater Treatment Plant is indicting Metro Vancouver for $250 million in damages and due bills

In October the previous year, Metro Vancouver declared it was withdrawing Acciona’s agreements after learning expenses had doubled from the initial estimate of $500 million to $1 billion.

Currently, the project is only 36 percent finished and long beyond the original 2020 completion date. 

In a report to CBC, Metro Vancouver Chief Administrative Officer Jerry Dobrovolny said Acciona signed fixed-price and fixed-date deals and still failed to complete key building milestones despite revisions to the decided timeline. 

“They also requested a further increase in the budget, which would almost double the original agreement price,” said Dobrovolny. 

“Metro Vancouver is confident that its decision to end was justified. Metro Vancouver will defend against Acciona’s suits, including the unfounded wrongdoing allegations,” he stated.

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