Business as usual for Pennecon

Moira Baird
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Work continues at Long Harbour despite financial woes of Pennecon partner Atcon Construction

Pennecon says it's business as usual at Long Harbour where the company and its financially troubled partner, Atcon Construction Inc., are prepping the site for construction of Vale Inco's nickel processing plant.

Last week, Scotiabank forced Atcon into creditor protection when it called in loans of more than $90 million to the construction division's parent company, Atcon Group.

Preparation of the Long Harbour nickel processing plant site is being carried out by partners Pennecon Ltd. and Atcon Construction Inc. - Telegram file photo

Pennecon says it's business as usual at Long Harbour where the company and its financially troubled partner, Atcon Construction Inc., are prepping the site for construction of Vale Inco's nickel processing plant.

Last week, Scotiabank forced Atcon into creditor protection when it called in loans of more than $90 million to the construction division's parent company, Atcon Group.

"There'll be no impact on our ability to carry out the business at all," said Lorne Bennett, a senior manager with Pennecon Ltd.

Vale Inco has received similar assurances from Newfoundland-based Pennecon.

"We've been advised by Pen-necon that the work being performed in Long Harbour will not be impeded by this," said Cory McPhee, spokesman for Vale Inco.

Pennecon's heavy civil division and Atcon are joint-venture partners in two contracts to do carry out civil work - excavating, installing culverts and building access roads - at the Long Harbour site for Vale Inco Newfoundland and Labrador.

It's the advance work for construction of a US$2.8-billion nickel processing plant at Long Harbour later this year.

"Pennecon is the managing partner of that joint-venture for Long Harbour operations and our relationship with Atcon is predominantly through the rental of equipment and a small number of management personnel," said Bennett.

"All the senior managers and all the trade-union labour are employed by Pennecon."

That includes about 250 employees.

Atcon supplied a handful of management staff and equipment, such as heavy-duty trucks.

"No matter what the outcome of this Atcon situation, none of Pennecon's companies will be affected by this," said Bennett.

"It'll be business as usual and it won't impact our ability to carry out the work."

Atcon Group owes about $250 million to creditors.

On Monday, a New Brunswick court granted Atcon Construction and six other companies in the Atcon Group protection from creditors until a March 15 court hearing.

The court also appointed a receiver for several other companies, including Atcon Group.

mbaird@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Pennecon, Atcon Construction, Atcon Group Scotiabank

Geographic location: Long Harbour, New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • Brad
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Yes they're doing a wonderful job by preparing the largest garbage receptacle on the island. Destroying the landscape so that it will never look the same again, and will remain polluted forever. Why don't we ship all of our garbage to Sandy Pond and area instead of Robin Hood Bay, since it will soon be a sterile hole in the ground anyway.

  • Member of the 80%
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Yes, Brad by' in a provice with so many ponds, must be millions of them, we should give up on a project like this. Give me a break. Keep everything pristine, and untouched, while we starve to death, yep ya gotta love dem tree huggers.

  • Brad
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    One of the 80% I see you drank you kool aid today. There is more than one pond, there is 10-12 if you knew anything about it. What kind of attitude is that we got lots of ponds. There goes the typical newfie response I suppose. I am not against development, I just want it done in a more environmentally sound way, not the way things were done pre 1960. Can we put it in a pond near you? Do you want the 500,000kg of airborne pollutants such as sulfur and heavy metals that go along with it? Can we destroy your favorite recreational/natural area? So many ignorant people who would poison their own land for a few jobs. What happens when the jobs are gone? You don't care because you will have made your money and moved on, but the people living here will live with it the rest of their lives.

  • Eric
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Did you see those newly release photos and video of the dead waterfowl in Syncrude's Alberta tailing pond ?

    You don't think that will happen here ? It happens all the time. Why do we believe each year that this is the year there won't be any environmental disasters, corruption, wars, genocides, and so on and so forth ?

    Nothing changes. Just wait and see. I'll come back and say, 'I told you so.' Except this one at Sandy Pond will be massive and affect huge swaths of muskeg eventually passing through the communities into the oceans where they fish.

    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/02/09/edm-syncrude-charges.html

  • Brad
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Yes they're doing a wonderful job by preparing the largest garbage receptacle on the island. Destroying the landscape so that it will never look the same again, and will remain polluted forever. Why don't we ship all of our garbage to Sandy Pond and area instead of Robin Hood Bay, since it will soon be a sterile hole in the ground anyway.

  • Member of the 80%
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Yes, Brad by' in a provice with so many ponds, must be millions of them, we should give up on a project like this. Give me a break. Keep everything pristine, and untouched, while we starve to death, yep ya gotta love dem tree huggers.

  • Brad
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    One of the 80% I see you drank you kool aid today. There is more than one pond, there is 10-12 if you knew anything about it. What kind of attitude is that we got lots of ponds. There goes the typical newfie response I suppose. I am not against development, I just want it done in a more environmentally sound way, not the way things were done pre 1960. Can we put it in a pond near you? Do you want the 500,000kg of airborne pollutants such as sulfur and heavy metals that go along with it? Can we destroy your favorite recreational/natural area? So many ignorant people who would poison their own land for a few jobs. What happens when the jobs are gone? You don't care because you will have made your money and moved on, but the people living here will live with it the rest of their lives.

  • Eric
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Did you see those newly release photos and video of the dead waterfowl in Syncrude's Alberta tailing pond ?

    You don't think that will happen here ? It happens all the time. Why do we believe each year that this is the year there won't be any environmental disasters, corruption, wars, genocides, and so on and so forth ?

    Nothing changes. Just wait and see. I'll come back and say, 'I told you so.' Except this one at Sandy Pond will be massive and affect huge swaths of muskeg eventually passing through the communities into the oceans where they fish.

    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/02/09/edm-syncrude-charges.html