The jobs count at Site C climbed up to just under 4,800 workers at the start of 2023, according to the latest employment figures from BC Hydro.

The company and its contractors reported 4,778 workers in January, up by 302 after the seasonal and holiday slowdown in December.

Roughly one in four workers were local, with 935 Peace region residents employed by construction and non-construction contractors. Locals comprise 24% of contracted construction and non-construction workers.

There were 3,308 B.C. residents, or 69% of the workforce, working for construction and non-construction contractors, and in engineering and project team jobs, according to the report.

Not all were on site or in camp at one time, BC Hydro says.

BC Hydro reported 174 apprentices for the month, up from 166 in December, as well as 350 indigenous workers and 505 women working on the project.

There were no temporary foreign workers employed in a specialized position, says BC Hydro, with 26 managers and other professionals working under the federal international mobility program.

Last month, the first turbine rotor on the project was placed into the Unit 1 generator pit inside the generating station.

Construction of the earthfill dam is now around 90% complete, and the project more than 70% built overall.

BC Hydro president Chris O’Riley told the BC Natural Resource Forum in January that the official target for commissioning is still nearly two years away.

However, he suggested the company could potentially generate first power in December of this year.