Big Jobs on the Nova Scotia Horizon

Posted on 06. Jan, 2014 by in News

If you are following the Nova Scotia economy closely, you’ll like this article. It outlines ALL the big projects either currently in the works or about to start and there’s certainly quite a lot to get excited about.Perhaps the much anticipated rebound really is right around the corner? Exciting times ahead!

Check out the article here:

Chronicle Herald : January 2, 2014 – 7:00pm – Joann Alberstat, Business Editor

The Maritime Link and offshore exploration are among the megaprojects to watch this coming year in Nova Scotia.

Investment in both areas will help drive up spending on major projects by about 13 per cent in 2014, according to the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.

Patrick Brannon, a research analyst with the economic think-tank, said spending on major projects in the province will reach $3.4 billion in the new year. That compares to $3 billion in 2013.

“Nova Scotia has got good growth next year,” he said in a recent interview. “A lot of the things are going on, especially in the Halifax area.

Major projects underway in the capital region include $300-million in upgrades to the Halifax Shipyard. The yard’s overhaul is in preparation for federal shipbuilding contracts, which are slated to begin in 2015.

Construction of a $500-million convention centre in downtown Halifax is another major project to watch this year, Brannon said.

Spending on major projects, which the council defines as ones worth at least $25 million, grew nine per cent in Nova Scotia this past year.

The additional activity in 2014 will include work on the $1.5-billion Maritime Link, which received final regulatory approval in November and is slated to ramp up in the new year.

The 180-kilometre subsea cable between Cape Ray, N.L., and Point Aconi, Cape Breton, is part of the overall $7.7-billion Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador.

Major contracts for the Emera Inc.-led project are expected to start being awarded during the first quarter of this year.

Financing for the 500-megawatt cable must also be finalized by mid-March under the terms of a federal loan guarantee for Muskrat Falls.

Transmission line construction is expected to begin during the fourth quarter, Emera subsidiary NSP Maritime Link Inc. said in a recent regulatory filing The subsea cable itself will be installed in 2017.

Meanwhile, a second global energy giant plans to begin a 3D seismic survey of the province’s offshore in the spring.

U.K.-based BP will launch a two-year seismic program covering a total of 11,850 square kilometres.

The survey is part of a $1.05-billion plan to hunt for oil and gas in the coming years.

Meanwhile, Shell will embark on the second year of its seismic program.

The Netherlands-based company has pledged to spend $970 million on exploration. The plan includes drilling up to seven exploratory wells, starting in 2015.

“The offshore sector has provided a boost,” said Brannon, the council’s major projects director.

While some megaprojects will see increased construction or exploration activity in 2014, others are in the development stages.

Among them are a pair of liquefied natural gas projects.

Pieridae Energy Canada Ltd. has proposed an $8.3-billion LNG plant and export facility in Goldboro, Guysborough County. Construction could begin in 2015, with operations starting in 2019.

At the same time, Indian company H-Energy is developing a similar $3-billion facility in Melford. Construction could start as soon as 2016, with the facility being operational by 2020.

A Calgary-based energy expert says India and Asia are the most likely markets for the LNG projects, which also need to secure long-term supplies of gas.

“It’s just so much more lucrative than to drop it off in Europe,” said Bill Gwozd, senior vice-president of gas services for consulting firm Ziff Energy.

Besides being closer to the East Coast, India and Asia are paying higher prices for natural gas, Gwozd said.

Because many large-scale projects are energy related, more local companies are looking for ways to start providing goods and services to the sector, says the chief executive of the Maritimes Energy Association.

“There are lots of opportunities to get work in a number of different energy fields,” Barbara Pike said.

Nova Scotia firms also benefit from large projects in other parts of Atlantic Canada. Local companies do work in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore and are also eyeing the $12-billion Energy East pipeline into New Brunswick, Pike said.


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