Metro Vancouver sends notice of default to the company building North Shore wastewater treatment plant

Acciona Wastewater Solutions LP has "consistently failed to meet its contractual obligations", according to the regional government's chief administrative officer

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      The Spanish infrastructure company Acciona bills itself as "experts in designing a better planet".

      But today, Metro Vancouver's chief administrative officer, Jerry Dobrovolny, alleged that Acciona Wastewater Solutions LP has "underperformed and consistently failed to meet its contractual obligations" on the North Shore wastewater treatment plant.

      He made the statement in a news release announcing that the regional government has issued a notice of default to the company.

      Moreover, Metro Vancouver intends to terminate its contract with Acciona Wastewater Solutions LP to complete the billion-dollar plant.

      "This project is already two and a half years behind schedule, and they’ve informed us that they require an additional two years," Dobrovolny said. "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," he continued. "Our priority is protecting the interests of our region by delivering this project as quickly as possible with the smallest possible impact to residents.”

      Acciona Wastewater Solutions LP won a competitive bidding process in 2017 to construct the plant, which was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.

      It was being built to keep Metro Vancouver in compliance with new wastewater regulations requiring secondary treatment by 2020.

      "Secondary treatment uses biological processes to remove dissolved and suspended organic compounds, resulting in much cleaner effluent and reduce environmental impact," Acciona states on its website.

      According to Metro Vancouver, the company was granted an additional two-and-a-half years to complete the project in 2019, along with an increased budget.

      When construction began in 2018, the project was estimated to cost $700 million. The most recent estimate was $1.058 billion.

      Acciona includes the North Shore wastewater treatment plant on a list of worldwide projects on its website.

      Other projects listed in B.C. include the Site C dam, Pattullo Bridge replacement, Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, and Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care Facility.

      Last July, the B.C. government announced that the Acciona-Ghella Joint Venture would enter into final contract negotiations to develop the 5.7-kilometre extension of the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street.

      The largest shareholder is the Dutch-based asset-management company Tussen de Grachten, BV with 29 percent, according to Simply Wall Street.

      Today, Acciona's share price rose 1.96 to close at 151.2 euros on the Bolsa de Madrid stock exchange.