Companies competing for largest contract of tar ponds cleanup
Sydney - Companies competing to land the biggest contract of the tar ponds
cleanup met Tuesday to gather information about the project and explore
forging partnerships to secure the successful bid.
About 70 people representing more than 40 companies attended a meeting at the Membertou
Trade and Convention Centre to learn more about the $50-million
solidification and stabilization contract for the Sydney tar ponds. The
successful contractor must prove it can mix solidifying ingredients into
the toxic waste to harden it and prevent contaminated leakage.
The contract also requires the construction of a channel allowing water from
two brooks to pass over the solidified mass and flow into Sydney harbour.
The tender evaluations include a local economic benefits program, in which
larger national and international companies which may bid for the contract
are encouraged to partner with Cape Breton companies for local labour.
Tim Sullivan, representing Sydney-based businesses AIC Sullivan Environmental
and Atlantic Site Remediation Ltd., said the number of companies
expressing interest is encouraging. "We're excited that there's a really
good turnout," he said. "Everybody's talking partnerships, especially from
the point of view of expertise in solidification and stabilization."
Chris MacDonald of Hazco Environmental Services, with offices in Sydney and
Halifax, said, "A lot of people are trying to get a sense of where people
are going to go and focusing on retention of information today."
The list of interested bidders includes companies from across North America and one
company from Belgium. The pre-bid information session was hosted by the
Sydney Tar Ponds Agency and the project's design engineers, AECOM and CBCL
Kevin MacPherson of CBCL outlined the project's health and safety
requirements and said the successful contractor will be required to hire a
full-time independent health and safety officer to carry out regular
inspections and work with officials. MacPherson said other cost
implications for the successful bidder would include occupational air
monitoring equipment and the use of a registered occupational hygienist.
Ian Shrimpton, design lead, outlined the stages of the process and
stressed the importance of building the channel system to Sydney harbour.
"The order and sequence of the work will be up to the proponents, but
preference must be given to channel construction," Shrimpton said.
Stephen Pinto of CBCL discussed the requirements the successful bidder will face
under the project's environmental protection plan. The contractor must
employ an environmental monitor with experience in remediation to conduct
environmental checks every four hours during construction. All employees
working on the site will be required to take two hours of environmental
training, which will include information on archaeological awareness.
Vehicles used at the site will have to undergo decontamination to avoid
transferring toxins through municipal streets. This requires a Gross
Decontamination Zone be built "over an impermeable surface" on the site.
The successful bidder will also need to appoint a quality assurance lead
to work with an independent consultant appointed by the agency to ensure
reporting and testing requirements are met as the project proceeds.
Companies wishing to test its solidifying mixtures before bidding were
invited to collect samples of the toxic sediment provided by the agency
The tender was released last month and the contract is
expected to be awarded in the spring.