Scandal-harrassed Canadian engineer SNC-Lavalin received a boost this week when its consortium finalised an agreement to design, build, finance and maintain a CAN$1.8bn light rail transit system for the Canadian capital, Ottawa.
The announcement on 13 February came just two weeks after the company revealed another deal, with another consortium, to deliver a rapid transit project in the western Canadian city of Vancouver.
SNC-Lavalin’s share price has been rising in line with the project wins, and others around the world in recent months, despite more bad news this week in connection with the Saadi Gaddafi affair and allegations of corruption.
On 11 February former SNC chief executive Pierre Duhaime was formally charged with fraud reportedly in connection with a contract to build the multibillion-dollar McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. The next date in the case has been set for 23 May.
The $1.8bn Confederation Line will be Ottawa’s first rapid transit system
And on the day SNC-Lavalin announced the Ottawa deal, former SNC executive Stephane Roy, one of two executives fired from the company last February amid revelations of missing money and questions over an alleged plot to smuggle Saadi Gaddafi out of Libya, launched a wrongful dismissal and defamation lawsuit against the company, claiming nearly $1m.
Meanwhile, the Confederation Line will be Ottawa’s first rapid transit system.
It will be delivered by the Rideau Transit Group Partnership, a consortium comprising ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Spanish giant ACS, Canadian contractor EllisDon, and SNC-Lavalin.
The partnership will be responsible for building 12.5km of guideway, 10 above-ground stations, three underground stations and a 2.5km tunnel beneath the downtown core.
The consortium will also supply the light rail transit vehicles, build a maintenance and storage facility, and provide ongoing maintenance of the system for 30 years.
Work will start in early 2013, with trains anticipated to be running in spring of 2018.
"We and our partners are truly honoured to have been selected to work with the City of Ottawa to deliver a project that will benefit the National Capital Region for many decades to come," said Robert Card, President and CEO, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.
In Vancouver another consortium, EGRT Construction, has signed a design, build and finance agreement with the Province of British Columbia for the Evergreen Line rapid transit project in Metro Vancouver.
EGRT Construction is led by SNC-Lavalin Constructors (Pacific) Inc., the design-build contractor, and includes a joint venture between SNC-Lavalin Constructors (Western) Inc. and Graham Building Service.