Acciona claims Vancouver didn’t pay bills in spat over water plant

The Metro Vancouver regional district says it has cancelled its contract with Acciona Canada to build a wastewater treatment plant in North Vancouver, but the contractor says it is still working on the project.

The municipality alleges Acciona has missed numerous milestones in the construction.

In a statement, Acciona says the municipality’s action is “is regrettable, unnecessary, and certainly not in the longterm interests of Metro Vancouver residents or the environment.”

Unpaid bills

The company says it has performed approximately $100 million in contracted work for which it has not received payment.

However, the city said in a release that “Acciona has underperformed and consistently failed to meet its contractual obligations which include delivering the project on time and within budget, as required under the initial fixed-cost design-build-finance model.”

“This project is already two and a half years behind schedule, and they’ve informed us that they require an additional two yearsThey’ve also asked for an increase in budget which would almost double the original contract price,” said Jerry Dobrovolny, commissioner and CAO of Metro Vancouver.

“Choosing to initiate termination was a difficult but necessary decision after considering all other options. Our priority is protecting the interests of our region by delivering this project as quickly as possible with the smallest possible impact to residents.”

Contract extended

Acciona Wastewater Solutions LP was selected through a competitive process in 2017 to construct the project. The original completion date of the project was end of 2020.

In 2019, at the request of the contractor, the contract was revised to provide an additional two-and-a-half years to complete the project (end of 2023), along with an increased budget.

Metro Vancouver claims it has made all payments due in a timely fashion.

Acciona says it is continuing to work on the plant, and is focusing on core project activities until the outstanding disputes are resolved.

It blames the municipality for many of the delays, citing more than 1,000 major design changes and other alterations to the original contract. It also alleges that the region demanded “Acciona Canada absorb the resulting project delays and increased costs.”