With about 500 people in Atlantic Canada employed on the Maritime Link mega project right now — a number that’s expected to rise to about 600 later this year —it’s a peak period for construction.
Brian Rendell, vice-president of finance and commercial for Emera Newfoundland and Labrador, said about $280 million has been awarded across the Atlantic Provinces since the project began.
“So far we are on time and on budget and believe we can have electricity online in 2017, our projected completion date,” said Rendell, during a Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday in Stephenville.
Among the companies benefitting from the Maritime Link are several Newfoundland companies.
Rendell said it was a proud time back in April when Major’s Logging, a company based in Deer Lake, completed the clearing of 1,585 km of land for a transmission line.
The construction of the line, which is more than 90 per cent complete, is being carried out by Powertel, a subcontractor for Abengoa. The company is now well underway with an alternating current line to Granite Lake.
Rendell said the rock breakwater at the Maritime Link Project’s Indian Head site in Stephenville Crossing is also near completion. That work is being done by St. John’s-based HJ O’Connell Construction Ltd., a contractor of Emera.
Horizontal directional drilling has been done in Cape Ray with a casing installed and tapped and ready for the undersea cable to be attached when it’s laid in the summer of 2017. The subsea cable is being manufactured in Japan and Eastern Europe, and it’s expected to be placed between Cape Ray and Point Aconi, N.S., in the summer of 2017.
Meanwhile, the Nova Scotia side is being prepared for the hookup of the cable.
Rendell said the concrete base has already been poured and construction will soon begin on the converting station at Bottom Brook, where a large, three-storey warehouse building filled with high-tech equipment will be constructed by ABB, a power and automation technology group.
“I visited a similar structure recently and it quite amazing,” Rendell said.
But even after everything is complete, Norm Dimmell, vice-president of corporate service with Emera, said there will still be a team in place —likely in Stephenville.
The size of the team has yet to be determined, but the company’s intention is to provide its own maintenance and service its own infrastructure.