UPDATE 1-Darlington, Canada, nuclear project awarded to joint venture for C$2.75 bln

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Jan 11 (Reuters) - A joint venture between SNC-Lavalin Inc and Aecon Group Inc was awarded a C$2.75 billion ($1.94 billion) contract to replace the main reactor components at a nuclear power plant in Darlington, Canada, SNC-Lavalin said on Monday.

The province of Ontario’s government said it would begin refurbishing the Unit 1 reactor at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in October. The power plant is about 70 km (40 miles) east of Toronto.

The refurbishment, expected to take 10 years, will provide 3,500 megawatts of power. The overall project is budgeted at C$12.8 billion, the government said.

Unit 1 is one of four reactors at the plant, according to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s website.

Ontario estimated that refurbishing Darlington would contribute C$15 billion to Ontario’s gross domestic product and create up to 11,800 jobs annually during the life of the project.

SNC-Lavalin is based in Montreal, Quebec; Aecon Group is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. ($1=C$1.42) (Reporting by Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)