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Company set to build wastewater treatment plant decries contract cancellation

A company formerly contracted to build a wastewater treatment plant in North Vancouver, B.C., calls the deal's cancellation "regrettable, unnecessary," and against the community's interests.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District announced Friday that it had terminated its contract with Acciona when the plant's price tag rose from $500 million to $1 billion.

But Acciona says it's done about $100 million in contracted work on the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant, for which it says it has yet to be paid.

The company says in a written statement that the project has been "fraught with unforeseen challenges" including "flaws in the design provided by Metro Vancouver as part of the original bid process."

The company says its officials have been meeting with regional authorities over the past six months to negotiate a way forward, and it is "regrettable that Metro Vancouver has chosen to take this unnecessary and counterproductive course of action."

On Friday, the chief administrative officer for the regional district said the project was 36 per cent complete when by Acciona's timeline it should be at 55 per cent.

It was intended to be completed by 2020.

Jerry Dobrovolny said it's unusual to cut ties with a contractor, but the decision was made to shield taxpayers from further costs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press