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$1 billion-plus Canadian construction projects: a handy reference guide (Part 1)

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by Alex Carrick last update:Aug 12, 2014

If you’re in any doubt about the vitality of the Canadian construction scene, simply peruse the number and extent of mega projects in the line-up.


Chief Economist, CanaData

If you’re in any doubt about the vitality of the Canadian construction scene, simply peruse the number and extent of mega projects in the line-up.

Among the handouts at the CanaData Conference, held on Sept. 26, was a detailed report outlining many of the largest efforts proposed or underway across the country.

In what follows, I’ll condense the information to provide a handy quick reference. Name, location, dollar value and stage are shown. The principal owner appears in brackets.

This may not be riveting reading in any literary sense, but it will be compelling for anyone interested in the inventory of $1 billion-plus jobs.

Most of the biggest jobs are classified as “heavy engineering” or “civil”. I’ll only tackle two sub-categories in this article (i.e., Part 1), moving from east to west across the country.

The oil and gas category — composed of oilsands work, liquefied natural gas plants and a host of pipeline proposals — will be saved for a future Economy at a Glance (Part 2).

There is also a wealth of mining and institutional work that warrants its own separate report (possibly a Part 3).

Electric Power:

Muskrat Falls, Phase 1 hydroelectric work, lower Churchill River, Newfoundland and Labrador, $6.0 billion, construction underway (Nalcor) — will include two major underwater transmission cables, from Labrador to the island and from the island to Nova Scotia.

Gull Island, Phase 2 hydroelectric station on the lower Churchill River, Newfoundland and Labrador, $12.0 billion, planning underway (Nalcor) — work won’t begin until Phase 1 has been completed.

Mactaquac hydroelectric dam northwest of Frederiction, New Brunswick, $3.0 billion, proposed — will involve refurbishment of an existing 650 MW station.

Petit-Mécatina River hydroelectric project, Quebec, $3.6 billion, proposed/conceptual stage (Hydro-Québec) <0x2012> the owner is negotiating with representatives from the First Nations.

Keeyask Generating Station, lower Nelson River, $5.0 billion, planning underway (Manitoba Hydro) — will likely proceed in two stages.

Conawapa Generating Station, lower Nelson River, $3.4 billion, proposed (Manitoba Hydro) — to be located 28 kilometres downstream from the existing Limestone Generating Station; project is on hold pending regulatory and environmental approvals.

Boundary Dam clean coal power station project, Estevan, Saskatchewan, $1.0 billion, construction underway (SaskPower Corp.) — will employ carbon capture and storage technology.

Site C, hydroelectric project on the Peace River, southwest of Fort St. John, B.C., $7.9 billion, proposed (B.C. Hydro) — near existing Peace River Canyon Dam.

Ruskin Dam and powerhouse project, Phases 1 to 4 on the Stave River, near Mission, B.C., $1.0 billion, planning underway (B.C. Hydro) — upgrades to existing facilities built in 1930.

John Hart Generating Station replacement project, Campbell River, Comox-Strathcona Regional District, B.C., $1.4 billion, planning underway (B.C. Hydro).

Rapid Transit and Bridges:

Champlain Bridge replacement and road complex, across the St. Lawrence River, Montreal, $3.0 billion, proposed (Public Works & Government Services Canada) — P3 project to be financed by tolls.

“Orange” subway line extension, Laval, Quebec, $1.5 billion, proposed (AMT-Montreal) — to be comprised of an eight-station tunnel running 10 kilometres.

Light rail train system, from downtown Montreal to Brossard, $1.4 billion, proposed (STM, Montreal) — <0x000a>13 kilometres, five passenger stations, between city centre and south shore suburbs, crossing the new Champlain Bridge.

Confederation Line, light rail transit, Ottawa, $2.1 billion, planning underway (City of Ottawa) — 12.5 kilometres, 13 stations, from Blair Road in the east to Tunney’s Pasture in the west; the portion through the downtown core, involving three stations, will be underground.

Eglinton Crosstown light rapid transit line, Toronto, $2.2 billion, early tunneling work underway (Infrastructure Ontario and Toronto Transit Commission) — Jane St. to Kennedy Station.

Highway 407 eastern extension, Durham Region, $1.0 billion, construction underway (Infrastructure Ontario) — from Brock Road, Pickering, to Harmony Road, Oshawa.

Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC), Windsor to Detroit, $1.0 billion, proposed (Transport Canada) — construction may begin late 2015/early 2016; will connect with Highway 401 on the Ontario side.

Light rapid transit extensions, Edmonton, $1.8 billion, planning underway (City of Edmonton) — preliminary design phase to be completed by the end of 2013.

Port Mann Bridge replacement project, overpasses and roadwork, Greater Vancouver, $2.5 billion, construction underway (Gateway Program Project Office) — completion mid-2014.

Evergreen rapid transit line, Greater Vancouver, $1.4 billion, planning underway (B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Highways) — will extend SkyTrain System to the northeast sector of metro Vancouver; 11 kilometres.

Pattullo Bridge replacement, Highway 99 over the Fraser River, Greater Vancouver, $1.0 billion, proposed (TransLink, GVTA) —conceptual planning options are being studied.

Transit proposal, from Commercial Drive to Central Broadway and then on to UBC, Vancouver, $2.8 billion (proposed) — to be built in two phases, with later stations added as needed.

Victoria regional rapid transit, Victoria, B.C., proposed, $1.0 billion (B.C. Transit) — an LRT line between downtown Victoria and the suburbs of Langford and Colwood.

The total dollar value of the 23 above-listed showcase projects is $67.0 billion. That’s a substantial amount of money.

Keep in mind that this listing doesn’t even include bigger-ticket items such as can be found among oilsands plants and energy pipelines.

For more articles by Alex Carrick on the Canadian and U.S. economies, please see his market insights. Mr. Carrick also has an economics blog.

last update:Aug 12, 2014

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