Hydro-Québec is constructing a 735-kV transmission line extending roughly 262 km between the Micoua substation in the Côte-Nord region and the Saguenay substation in the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region in Quebec, Canada.
The new transmission line will help to maintain the reliability of Hydro-Québec's transmission system. Reduced consumption in the Côte-Nord region and the shutdown of several thermal and nuclear generating stations in southern Québec have resulted in increased power flow along the lines in the Manic–Québec corridor toward the major load centers, making the new line necessary. The commissioning of the new line is scheduled for 2022.
The contract for erecting the lattice transmission structures for the Micoua-Saguenay line has been awarded to Locweld, headquartered at Candiac in Quebec. The company will require almost 20,000 tons of steel to manufacture the structures ordered by the Crown corporation. Production has started and will continue through February 2022. The value of the contract is close to $50 million.
Hydro-Québec's ties to Locweld date back to 1970, following Locweld's construction of a 220,000-sq ft plant in Candiac. The company has been involved in a number of major Hydro-Québec projects and worked to restore the steel structures that were destroyed during the Great Ice Storm in 1998.
"We have a long-standing relationship with Hydro-Québec and are pleased with their confidence in Locweld," said Pierre Lavoie, president of Locweld. "This important contract, in addition to securing the 144 jobs at our plant, will allow us to create more jobs — dozens — while generating significant economic benefits for our own suppliers."
This contract follows the recent collaboration between Locweld and Valmont Utility, a division of the U.S. multinational Valmont Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of infrastructure products and services. The exclusive relationship with Valmont since December 2019 allows Locweld to increase its total annual production capacity to 90,000 tons.
"Alongside the contract that Hydro-Québec has just entrusted to us, and all others in our current order book, the Locweld/Valmont team easily has the capacity to take on new orders in the Canadian and U.S. markets," said Deanne Cyr, Locweld's vice president of Sales and Estimation.