BC selects SNCLavalin group as preferred bidders on 14 billion transit line

MONTREAL – SNC-Lavalin received renewed signs of confidence in its operations Thursday after being selected as the preferred bidder for a $1.4-billion B.C. transit project and winning a potash feasibility project in New Mexico.A consortium headed by the Montreal-based engineering and construction giant has been tabbed by the B.C. government to design and build the Evergreen Line Rapid Transit project.The project, which will integrate into the existing SkyTrain system, will link the cities of Burnaby, Port Moody and Coquitlam with an 11-kilometre advanced light rapid transit line.SNC-Lavalin’s partners include several businesses, including Graham Building Services, MMM Group Ltd., International Bridge Technologies Inc. and Jacobs Associates Canada Corp.The project includes elevated and at-grade guideways, a two-kilometre bored tunnel, seven stations, power substations, train operating systems, parking facilities, and a vehicle storage and light maintenance facility.It will link directly to the Millennium Line, with connections to the Expo Line, Canada Line, the West Coast Express and regional bus networks.The B.C. government is contributing $583 million and will also oversee construction of the project. The federal government will provide up to $417 million. TransLink will contribute $400 million and operate the line when it is complete.Construction of the Evergreen Line is expected to create 8,000 direct and indirect jobs.Major construction will begin in the late fall once the contract is signed and is slated to open for service in the summer of 2016.SNC-Lavalin has experience building B.C.’s transit network after heading up construction of the Canada Line rapid transit system that links downtown Vancouver with Vancouver International Airport in Richmond. It has a 33.3 per cent equity participation in InTransit BC, which will operate and maintain the Canada Line under a 35-year concession agreement.Spokeswoman Leslie Quinton said SNC is proud to have won this mandate, which is “a natural extension” of its earlier successes in the province.“We are grateful to our client for their confidence and the opportunity to serve them again, and we are committed to delivering to them and their customers a first class transportation experience,” she said in an email.The SNC partnership bid against two other joint ventures — A. EL Partners which includes Bombardier Transportation (TSX:BBD.B) and Genivar (TSX:GNV), and Kiewit/Flatiron Evergreen Line.Earlier Thursday, IC Potash Corp. awarded SNC-Lavalin a contract to develop key sections of a feasibility study for its Ochoa Sulphate of Potash project in New Mexico.No value was provided for the work that is underway and is expected to be completed next August.The feasibility study of ICP’s (TSX:ICP) deposit in the southeastern region of the U.S. state will examine technical requirements.Those include recovery methods, project infrastructure, processing facility and ancillary services to produce specialized fertilizers SOP and sulphate of potash magnesia (SOPM).SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) will also develop the cost estimate and help ICP in the economic analysis of the project.“This award builds on our potash expertise and knowledge, and affirms our position as a leading engineering contractor in the potash fertilizer industry,” said Dave Clarke, SNC-Lavalin’s executive vice-president of global mining and metallurgy.ICP’s chief executive Sidney Himmel said the company is working with SNC-Lavalin because it is an international leader in working with the mining industry, having completed more than 350 major projects worldwide.“Our goals to become the lowest cost producer of SOP and SOPM and to effectively address the underserved global market for these in-demand premium fertilizers were the basis for our decision to award this key contract to SNC-Lavalin,” he said.Maxim Sytchev of AltaCorp Capital said SNC-Lavalin may be facing trying times, but these contracts remind investors that potential clients are looking for SNC’s ability to execute and financial ability to withstand challenges.“SNC checks both marks,” he wrote in a report.“The concession portfolio and the strong balance sheet gives us confidence that SNC-Lavalin is going to be able to overcome the current trough.”The engineering and construction giant’s new CEO Robert Card started on the job this week amid reports that about $22.5 million of the $56 million in questionable payments to undisclosed foreign agents was used to win the Montreal super hospital project.Former CEO Pierre Duhaime stepped down in March amid the controversy over the payments, which breached the company’s code of ethics.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, SNC’s shares closed up 56 cents at $38.25 in Thursday trading. ICP’s shares were up three cents to 85 cents. by News Staff Posted Oct 4, 2012 5:58 pm MDT B.C. selects SNC-Lavalin group as preferred bidders on $1.4 billion transit line AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Alarming reports of major violations in southeast Turkey – UN rights chief

“More and more information has been emerging from a variety of credible sources about the actions of security forces in the town of Cizre during the extended curfew there from mid-December until early March,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said in a press release. He added that the picture that is emerging, although still sketchy, is “extremely alarming,” and strongly condemned violence and other unlawful acts committed by the youth groups and other non-state agents, allegedly affiliated with the PKK , in Cizre and other areas. “I regret any loss of life as a result of terrorist acts wherever they have occurred,” Mr. Zeid said. “However, while Turkey has a duty to protect its population from acts of violence, it is essential that the authorities respect human rights at all times while undertaking security or counter-terrorism operations – and international law prohibiting torture, extrajudicial killings, disproportionate use of lethal force and arbitrary detention must be observed.” The High Commissioner said he had received reports of unarmed civilians – including women and children – being deliberately shot by snipers, or by gunfire from tanks and other military vehicles. “There also appears to have been massive, and seemingly highly disproportionate, destruction of property and key communal infrastructure – including buildings hit by mortar or shellfire, and damage inflicted on the contents of individual apartments and houses taken over by security forces,” he said. “There are also allegations of arbitrary arrests, and of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, as well as reports that in some situations ambulances and medical staff were prevented from reaching the wounded.” On top of all this, he noted that there has been huge displacement triggered by the curfews and by subsequent fighting, shelling, killings and arrests in many places in the south-east. “Most disturbing of all,” the High Commissioner said, “are the reports quoting witnesses and relatives in Cizre which suggest that more than 100 people were burned to death as they sheltered in three different basements that had been surrounded by security forces.” “All these allegations, including those levelled at the groups fighting against the security forces, are extremely serious and should be thoroughly investigated, but do not appear to have been so far,” Zeid said. “The Turkish Government has not responded positively to requests by my Office and other parts of the United Nations to visit the region to collect information first-hand.” The UN Human Rights Chief noted that more information has emerged from Cizre compared to other districts, towns and villages in the south-east – including Silopi, Nusaybin and the Sur district of Diyarbakýr, the main city in the region – which were sealed off for weeks on end, and are still next to impossible to access, because of the heavy security presence. “In 2016, to have such a lack of information about what is happening in such a large and geographically accessible area is both extraordinary and deeply worrying,” Mr. Zeid said. “This black-out simply fuels suspicions about what has been going on. I therefore renew my call for access for UN staff and other impartial observers and investigators, including civil society organizations and journalists.” Noting alarm bells rung by other international human rights entities in recent weeks, Mr. Zeid called for a prompt investigation and prosecution of all those suspected of being involved in violations of the right to life, including extrajudicial killings and disproportional use of lethal force, and stressed that the judiciary should act independently from all other branches of the State, including the military and the Executive. He also called on the Turkish authorities to allow the return of all those who have been forcibly displaced, and urged them to ensure that, in future, curfews are limited to the minimum duration necessary and with due concern for human rights obligations and humanitarian considerations. The High Commissioner noted Turkey’s continued engagement with UN human rights bodies, including the recent visit of UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; the recent review of the country’s record by the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; and the ongoing review by the UN Committee against Torture which will issue its concluding observations on 13 May. read more