Activity not likely to abate as tar ponds cleanup ramps up
SYDNEY - The Sydney Tar Ponds Agency is about half-way through the 10-year
cleanup of the coke ovens and tar ponds sites, but less than one-fifth of
the budget has been spent.
Those numbers are expected to change later this
year as several large contracts are awarded, including the largest one -
expected to be about $50 million - for the solidification and
stabilization of the former industrial lands. Several smaller projects,
including capping of the former cooling pond and construction of the
materials handling facility, have been completed or are underway.
Recently, roads have been built around the tar ponds and work on the sites
should be steady now for the next five years. "Around the tar ponds,
you'll see activity ramping up," said tar ponds agency spokesperson Tanya
Collier MacDonald. A contract for $37.6 million was recently awarded to
MB2 Construction and Beaver Marine to take water from brooks on the coke
ovens site and pump it around the tar ponds and into Sydney harbour. The
next large contract, expected to be announced soon, is the solidification
and stabilization of the tar ponds. "That's the biggest contract, more
than $50 million," said Collier MacDonald.
According to a June update
supplied to the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency's community liaison committee and
posted to the agency's website, the bulk of the money for the $400-million
cleanup has yet to be spent. Since the cleanup's start in April 2004, the
overall project has cost $71,187,657, or 18 per cent of the $400-million
budget, and has generated almost 390 full-time equivalent jobs.
the projects in the first quarter of 2009 included Cape Breton content
that varied between 42 and 91 per cent, according to the update. And, it
says, in the five years since the cleanup started, Canadian content has
averaged 98 per cent. Mainland Nova Scotia has secured 12 per cent of the
work and Cape Breton 55 per cent.