New MCR contract expected to create more than 800 jobs annually

Section: 
News

 

By Barb McKay

 

Bruce Power’s Major Component Replacement (MCR) project is poised to get underway with the signing of a contract to carry out what the company is calling the ‘heart of the project’.

 

The newly-formed Shoreline Power Group consortium – made up of Aecon, AECOM and SNC-Lavalin – gathered at the Bruce Power Visitors’ Centre on Thursday to sign a multi-year contract for the Unit 6 reactor retube, which commences in 2020. According to Bruce Power, the contract has the potential to expand to reactor retubes on Units 3,4,5,7 and 8.

 

“It’s a big day,” Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck said. “We begin mobilization to start construction...The contract we are signing here today is for a 20-year period worth about $2 billion. It’s the largest single contract that we’ve ever signed in Bruce Power’s history.

 

“The companies are moving into the area and we are experiencing economic development opportunities throughout Bruce and Grey and Huron counties that we have not seen, councillors tell me, since the 1970s. The three giant companies will be setting up shop in our hometown, our community, and will be creating new jobs for many years to come.”

 

The contract is expected to create, on average, 825 jobs annually – with a peak of 1,500 – directly and indirectly, locally and across Ontario over the next 15 years.

 

Former Ontario premier Mike Harris was invited as a special guest for the announcement and said without a move to create a public-private partnership, the outcome would have been very different.

 

“When I was first elected premier of Ontario in 1995, we faced many challenges,” Harris said. “High unemployment, high deficits and an economy that was stagnant. We also faced a nuclear fleet that was in need of renewal and better management. I remember there was a real debate about what to do with the Bruce site in the late ‘90s. Units 1 and 2 were recently shut down by the previous NDP government. And when I was elected, the government, quite frankly, was not in a position through Ontario Hydro, either with the finances needed or the expertise needed, to complete what needed to be done here at Bruce.

 

“Only half the units were operating and Hydro was preparing for the shutdown of those units starting in 2015, with the site beginning to move to decommissioning by 2018. If no action was taken, the announcement we heard today would be very different. We needed the Bruce site for the long-term benefit of Ontario. It was a bold move at the time, and there was some criticism, but we also knew under the right leadership and with private sector investment and the right expertise, accountability and vision, we could chart a new course for this facility. The success of the public-private partnership we entered into in 2001 with Bruce Power really speaks for itself. We have a site with a future, job creation and a facility that provides a reliable source of power.”

 

Harris said the partnership between three major companies to form the Shoreline Power Group is an exciting opportunity for Huron-Bruce.

 

“I appreciate you including me in today’s historic announcement because Ontario has traditionally benefitted from low cost and stable electricity rates over many, many decades. We were able to achieve this in part because of our large quantity of low cost nuclear.

 

“It’s a strong economy that makes everything possible. It allows our families and our communities to thrive. It allows us to have the money we need to deliver quality health care and education. It allows us to do the things we know are important to families. However, to have a strong economy we need low cost, stable and reliable electricity. We need good paying jobs. We need businesses like Bruce Power that are looking at ways to innovate by doing things safer.”

 

Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson was present for the announcement, along with Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker who is the PC Caucus chair for nuclear. Thompson said Thursday’s announcement is significant.

 

“We are so proud that we have a chance to support a company, a culture, a commitment to low cost (power) generation through Bruce Power,” she said. “It’s about making sure that Ontario remains competitive. We need a government that creates policy but gets out of the way so private sector partnerships can get the job done, and that’s what we are seeing here today. This announcement underpins the good paying jobs that will be coming along with it.”

 

Aecon, AECOM and SNC-Lavalin are no strangers to the nuclear industry, Bruce Power or each other.

 

“The role of nuclear power in Ontario has never been stronger,” John Beck, President and CEO of Aecon said. Our partnership with Shoreline Power Group is one built on strong industry partnerships – three organizations proud to work together as one.”

 

Beck said the three companies have gained valuable experience working together and will build on the safety culture that Bruce Power is known for.

 

“I know I speak for all organizations involved when I say how pleased I am that the work being done here will make a difference not only for our generation but for future generations. This project will connect communities and generations across the province.”

 

Art Lembo, President of AECOM, said it is important for Shoreline Power Group to be immersed in the community.

 

“One of the things I sensed from Mike (Rencheck) from the first time we came up to Bruce Power as part of the supplier information conferences, it was very clear that there was an importance of being part of the community to support this plan,” he said. “That is a foundational element that we all recognize as important because coming up and doing work here really has an economic value for the community and companies like ours. Community is an important part of the equation.”

 

Sandy Taylor, President of SNC-Lavalin’s nuclear sector, said he is looking forward to the work the consortium will carry out.

 

“We are highly confident in Shoreline’s experience with CANDU refurbishments. And working closely with the Bruce Power team we are confident in our ability to safely deliver an on-schedule, on-budget and quality outcome with the first Bruce reactor. But even more so, we are committed to continuous improvement and lessons learned.”