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Canadian engineers pick up pieces from Enron collapse

Montreal's SNC-Lavalin Group, the largest engineering company in Canada, is taking over construction of eight power...


Montreal’s SNC-Lavalin Group, the largest engineering company in Canada, is taking over construction of eight power plants in the United States following the financial collapse of Enron.

The bankruptcy of energy trader Enron last year was the biggest in U.S. history and caused a major scandal as it became the subject of judicial investigations into illegal trading activities by its former executives and misleading auditing. Thousands of Enron employees lost their jobs and pensions as a result.

SNC-Lavalin Constructors will rescue 5,100 jobs, as the company takes over the contracts to finish power plants from National Energy Production Corp, (NEPCO), a unit of Enron. It was to locate a new company in Bothell, Washington, headed up by John H. Gillis, the former president of NEPCO.

Jacques Lamarrre, president and Chief Executive Officer of SNC-Lavalin, said in a press release: “It has always been part of our strategic plan to strengthen our presence in the thermal power sector, and these agreements provide us with the opportunity to meet that goal.”

The plants have a total capacity of 8,700 metawatts and include gas-fired plants in El Dorado, Arkansas and the Gila River Power Station in Arizona.

SNC-Lavalin is not only the largest, but also one of the best-known consulting engineering firms in Canada.