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Canadian Infrastructure Sector Update

Posted by: Chris Rocheleau
Industry News

Planning commences for Canada’s first geothermal plant

The Canadian government recently announced that it will provide $25.6m Canadian dollars in funding for the country’s very first geothermal power facility. It is estimated that the facility will provide 100 jobs during its construction phase and be able to provide enough energy to power around 5,000 homes. The facility will be located near Estevan in the province of Saskatchewan.
Trudeau said in a statement that the project had “the potential to transform how the province and the country produces energy, while creating good, middle class jobs for Canadians.”


Development of a geothermal facility will help to bolster Canada’s renewable energy production. Currently, around 66% of Canada’s electricity comes from renewable resources and is recognised as one of the world’s leaders in hydropower alongside countries like China and the United States. However, the geothermal power sector in Canada is still young, but much can be learned across the border in the United States where well-developed sectors exist in.
Geothermal energy is described as a vital and clean energy resource by the U.S. Department of Energy and refers to heat from below the Earth’s surface which can be used to produce renewable energy while emitting little to no greenhouse gases. In 2017, geothermal power plants in the United States generated around 16 billion kilowatt-hours, but represents a small fraction of the electricity generation in the United States at just 0.4 percent of the country’s total general generation.  Full story


Via Rail Places order worth $989m with German Company Siemens instead of Bombardier

Via Rail has chosen German manufacturer Siemens over Bombardier Inc. to deliver the 32 new trains it needs to maintain capacity on routes between Quebec City and Windsor, Ont. The $989m contract involves a complete renewal of locomotives in the Canadian passenger rail service’s fleet, in addition to cars for the rail corridor between Quebec City and Windsor, Ont. Deliveries are set to commence in 2021 and the fleet will be in service the following year.
Via Rail and Siemens also announced a 15-year technical services and parts agreement that is valued at $355.5 million. Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, Via Rail chief executive, said: “"As we are initiating the gradual withdrawal of the current fleet, the timely delivery of the new fleet will allow Via Rail to maintain the current levels of service in the Québec City – Windsor Corridor, while significantly improving the quality of its passenger experience.”
The trains will be made in the United States and the deal is with the company’s Canadian division which employs 4,300 people at 44 Canadian locations. Siemens says that its trains will offer passengers a smooth, quiet and accessible ride with carbon emissions up to 80% lower than the current fleet.
Marc Garneau, Federal Transport Minister, said that the decision to go with Siemens instead of Bombardier is justified because Canada’s free trade agreements with the European Union and the United States don’t allow Via Rail to favour Bombardier when choosing a manufacturer to award contracts to.  Full story


Civil Engineering and Construction News

Devimco Immobilier, Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ and Fiera Properties enter three-way partnership to develop $700 twin tower in Montréal. 
Devimco Immobilier, Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ and Fiera Properties have entered a partnership to develop one of the largest mixed-use real estate projects Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles neighbourhood. Known as Maestria, the project consists of two towers, one at 51 storeys and the other at 53, and will house approximately 1,000 condos and 500 rental units. Construction is expected to commence very soon with construction workers and civil engineers job vacancies in this part of Canada starting to be advertised.
The two towers were designed in collaboration with Lemay, an architectural firm based in Canada. The Maestria project will be inspired by the art and culture of the Quartier des spectacles. Daniel Arbour, a senior partner at Lemay, described the tower as “a nod in the direction of the Quartier des spectacles, a project with a powerful identity and a unique signature, with the two tall towers seemingly in motion, like a pair of tango dancers.”
The design will include a walkway between the two towers at the 25th storey to offer residents a prime view of every major event held in the Places des Festivals below and also includes a mini-plaza that could be used by retailers to host their own cultural events. Serge Goulet, President of Devimco Immobilier, said: “We are proud to be building a distinctive, avant-garde property that will help enhance the urban fabric of this booming arts and culture district.”  Full story 
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