12/18/2014 04:55 EST | Updated 02/17/2015 05:59 EST

Alberta PowerLine Partnership wins contract for Fort Mac transmission project

CALGARY - The Alberta PowerLine Ltd. Partnership has been awarded a major contract to build and operate a 500-kilovolt transmission project in Fort McMurray, Alta.

The partnership between Alberta-based Canadian Utilities Ltd. and U.S.-based Quanta Capital Solutions Inc. had submitted a $1.433-billion bid for the Fort McMurray West project. The bid would involve the partnership designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the facility for 35 years.

The Alberta Electric System Operator, which awarded the contract, had originally pegged construction costs of the project alone at $1.6 billion.

The project will consist of 500 kilometres of transmission line between the Wabamun, west of Edmonton, and Fort McMurray. It will also include two new 500-kilovolt substations.

Construction for the project is expected to begin in 2017 pending the necessary projects, with completion scheduled for 2019.