Nahanni Construction Ltd. was engaged by Rio Tinto  for the Kemano T2 Project, which involved the construction of an underground tunnel to connect an existing reservoir with an existing hydroelectric generation facility. Initially, Nahanni provided slurry batching equipment and expertise to manage high pH solids generated during the tunnel construction. Later, our scope expanded to include various construction, site services, and logistics operations. Nahanni provided a range of services in the expanded scope which included batch plant operations, underground civil construction, dewatering, water treatment plant operations, heavy equipment and crane operations, tunnel cleaning, and logistics services.

Fast Facts:

  • The workforce peaked at 60 personnel during underground civil construction, with an average of 35 to 40 employees throughout the project.
  • Total Man Hours Worked on Project: 362,880 hours
  • Structural Concrete: 9,500 cubic meters poured
  • Shotcrete: 14,500 cubic meters batched and delivered
  • Grout: 16,500 cubic meters batched

Challenges and how Nahanni Helped:

  • Operating in Northern BC is a complex environment logistically especially when the site is further removed from public maintained infrastructure; freight was delivered to Kitimat and transported by barge for further transportation to Kemano. Nahanni moved substantial amounts of construction materials and equipment to site, including cement powder, fly-ash, bentonite, and chemical additives.
  • Kemano experiences moderate cold weather, with temperatures occasionally reaching as low as -20°C. Heavy snowfall and avalanches posed challenges to site access and operations and good planning to ensure proper phasing of supplies should site access be hampered by environmental conditions.
  • Several Nahanni employees were recognized by the client for their outstanding safety culture and initiatives.
  • Nahanni completed its scope of work in line with schedule and under budget while maintaining a good safety culture, morale, and productivity despite competing construction projects in the area leading to high turnover in workforce in the area.