Keeyask Generation Project

Final Design and Specifications, Procurement Support, Owner’s Engineer and Construction Support.

Manitoba Hydro | Manitoba, Canada | 2013 - 2021

Developed by the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership - Manitoba Hydro, Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, York Factory First Nation and Fox Lake Cree Nation


695 megawatts of capacity and 4,400 gigawatt hours of electricity each year.

Fourth largest generating station in Manitoba

Award of Excellence, Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Manitoba

Be Inspired Award, Bentley Systems


  • The Keeyask generating station is remotely located, approximately 725 kilometers north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on the lower Nelson River—over 130 kilometers by road from the nearest city, Thompson.
  • Part of the construction schedule is in a sub-arctic climate, with long and extremely cold winters with low temperatures that average below -25 degrees Celsius for months.


  • Provided engineering services for the final design within budget and on schedule showing great flexibility in adapting the design, developing various initiatives working together with Manitoba Hydro and the civil contractor as one design team to achieve schedule acceleration and quality in design and technology.
  • Completed the design of an early enclosure to minimize construction delays by allowing for the operation of the powerhouse cranes to facilitate the turbine generator assembly and winter concreting. The 4D construction model estimated the column extenders would reduce construction delays by approximately 13 months. At a site maintenance cost of approximately $1-2M per day, there was a significant savings achieved by this mitigation measure.
  • Initial diversion was achieved by the construction of a series of five cofferdams required to dewater the foundations for the powerhouse and spillway.
  • Dyke lines flanked the river banks on either side of the river for a distance of approximately 11 kilometers upstream of the generating station. These dykes were founded on permafrost-affected glacio-lacustrine clay and glacial till overburden. The construction of the dykes required the removal of high ice content overburden and special design details to accommodate future settlements.


  • Hatch has been involved in this project for more than 25 years, having completed FEL2 (1994) and FEL3 (2011) studies, and started FEL4 in 2012. Construction began in 2014 and will continue to 2022.
  • Due to the Early Contract Involvement (ECI) process and front-end planning, the design was optimized for minimal waste and constructability.
  • Hatch led a redesign of the powerhouse superstructure to permit early enclosure to allow heating of concrete pours during the winter.
  • Hatch used a 3D data-centric model, which was used for constructability review ensuring that the design was understood by all contractors. This allowed the client and contractor to do 4D simulation to assess options and determine its commercial implications. Integrated together with the Primavera Schedule in P6 the model served as a 4D tool to verify construction planning, sequencing and schedule thereby identifying, eliminating, and minimizing risks with associated delays on the project.

Project numbers

C$8.7 billion project
More than 27,300 people hired to work at the site with 69% of workers were from Manitoba and 38% were Indigenous
The powerhouse and service bay complex with installed capacity of 695 MW houses 7 turbines and is built across the north side of the Nelson River
A seven-bay spillway with 16 m tall, 13 m wide lift gates for river diversion during construction, and designed to pass surplus flows up to the probable maximum flood of 11,300 m3/s when the station is operational
Approximately 362 000 m3 of concrete in the spillway, intake, powerhouse and auxiliary structures, Fill totaling approximately 6.4 million m3 with 2 million m3 of rock excavation and 3.4 million m3 of overburden excavation
3 earthfill dams totaling 2.4 kilometers in length and 2 dykes totaling 22.3 kilometers in length

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