Vale awards $600-M contract

G.J. Cahill and Kiewit hooking up Long Harbour nickel plant modules

Moira Baird
Published on May 27, 2011
The port site under development for the Long Harbour plant. — Submitted photo

A consortium of four companies landed the largest contract to date at the Vale nickel processing plant in Long Harbour — a $600-million, two-year contract to assemble, hook up and commission the plant’s equipment and modules.

KBAC Constructors will carry out that piping, mechanical, electrical and instrumentation work at the processing plant.

Construction of the US$2.8-billion nickel processing plant is scheduled for completion in February 2013.

Two of the companies in the KBAC consortium are familiar faces in local business circles.

They  are St. John’s-based G.J. Cahill & Co. and Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co., which is one of the Canadian divisions of Omaha-based Kiewit Corp.

“It’s a great day for us and we’re very, very pleased to be involved in this consortium as an equity partner,” said Fred Cahill, president of G.J. Cahill.

“It is a critical contract for the successful completion of this work.”

Vale announced the KBAC contract Thursday.

“The mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation services contract is the largest single contract that we have awarded to date on the Long Harbour construction project and one of the largest supplier contracts awarded at Vale,” said John Pollesel, chief operating officer for Vale’s base metals business in North Atlantic, in a release.

“The partners in the KBAC partnership have been working with us over the last year and we are very pleased to see them come together in a partnership to work on this part of the project.”

So far, Vale said it has let $1.5 billion worth of contracts for the Long Harbour plant.

Vale expects to have more than 2,000 people working at the construction site by August/September — peak employment during the construction phase.

“Today, it’s about 1,300,” said Bob Carter, spokesman for Vale Newfoundland and Labrador.

He said the KBAC contract will take about 3.5 million person hours of work to complete — employing about 750 people.

“Work has begun,” said Carter. “They’ve been mobilizing their teams.

Building foundations are in place and steel structures are being erected at the Long Harbour site.

“The next important phase is moving all of the equipment that we are procuring and modules that are being fabricated into the process buildings, and this is the work that’s within the scope of this contract,” said Carter.

Also part of the KBAC consortium is BMA, a joint venture between Ontario-based Black and McDonald Ltd. and Alberici Constructors, the Ontario subsidiary of Missouri-based Alberici Corp.