Canadian Consulting Engineer

Up Front

December 1, 2012
By Canadian Consulting Engineer



Muskrat Falls project
moves closer

Nalcor Energy, Newfoundland and Labrador’s crown-owned energy company, is moving closer to approving the construction of an 824-MW hydro-electricity generating station at Muskrat Falls on the Lower Churchill River system in central Labrador. The $7.2-billion project includes a 1,100-km HVdc transmission line and 35-km undersea link across the Strait of Belle Isle from Labrador to Newfoundland. A new undersea transmission line (the Maritime Transmission Link) will also be built by Emera from Newfoundland to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.

The Newfoundland-Labrador government hopes eventually to develop a larger — 2250-MW — generating station on the Lower Churchill at Gull Island. However, that project would only be viable if the province could export the power, ideally by gaining transmission rights across Quebec. So far that permission is tied up in the courts.

Nalcor has already begun site preparation work. As well, 50% of the engineering and detailed design work is complete. SNC-Lavalin’s St. John’s office is doing the engineering, procurement and construction management for both the generating plant and transmission line. Northwest Hydraulic Consultants of Edmonton did physical hydraulic studies for the generating facility and worked with Nalcor to build a 1-to-70 scale model that was used to conduct 200 tests.


Procurement tightens
up in Quebec

The Quebec government introduced Bill No. 1 entitled the “Integrity Act for Public Contracts” to the National Assembly on November 1.

The Bill was tabled in the midst of a flurry of allegations emerging at the ongoing Charbonneau Commission of Inquiry into corruption in the province’s construction industry.

Bill No. 1 will make it mandatory that any company that wishes to obtain a public contract must be authorized by AMF, the province’s financial services regulator (l’Autorité des marches financiers).

AICQ supports the legislation in principle but is not satisfied that some of the conditions deal fairly with engineering companies. Johanne Desrochers, president and chief executive officer of AICQ, presented concerns to the Committee on Public Finance in Quebec City on November 12. She was accompanied by Marc Tremblay, president of the AICQ board of directors and executive vice president of exp.

They argued that certain of the proposed rules can be subjectively interpreted. For example, AICQ asks how the AMF could consistently apply concepts such as “de facto control,” “misconduct,” and “reasonable person” as criteria in deciding whether to grant or refuse authorization.


Heavy Lifting on Highway 401

Toronto’s first rapid bridge replacement took place over two days October 26, on an off-ramp near the Yorkdale Shopping centre on Highway 401. It took 53 hours to lift and replace a 49-year old, 900-tonne bridge — work that would traditionally take nine months to a year. URS is the design engineering consultant and AECOM is the contract administrator on the $5.9-million project. The province has used rapid bridge replacement technology on four other bridges: three on Highway 417 in Ottawa, and one on Highway 403 in Hamilton.


Biodome wins
top ASHRAE Award

André-Benoit Allard, ing., of Ecosystem has been awarded first place in the existing public assembly category in the 2013 Technology Awards from ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers).

Allard won for retrofitting the Montreal Biodome’s energy systems for Montreal Space for Life. Ecosystem were the mechanical-electrical engineers for the retrofit.


SAIT Technology Complex opens in Calgary

A $400-million complex of three buildings to train students in the energy, construction, manufacturing and automation sectors officially opened at SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary this fall. All three buildings were designed by Gibbs Gage Architects with Dialog as structural engineering consultant, Wiebe Forest as mechanical consultant and Crossey as electrical consultant.

The SAIT Trades and Technology Complex amounts to a total 740,000 sq.ft. and is the largest construction project in the 96-year history of SAIT, which is located northwest of downtown.The largest building of the three is the 440,000 sq.ft. Aldred Centre, which is home for students in green building and water treatment.


CRA on Absolute Towers

For Mississauga’s Absolute Towers shown in the August-September issue, p. 6, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates was the mechanical-electrical engineer. Stantec provided contract administration support to them.


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