AltaLink identified the need for new facilities and upgrades at six sites. For a program of this scale, AltaLink chose EPC project delivery to minimize the associated risks and gain a single source of accountability for the program. Such large-scale programs often run over budget or experience significant schedule delays. With an EPC contract, AltaLink gained cost and schedule certainty. Our EPC approach also gave AltaLink direct access to our breadth of experience, which was critical to navigating the program complexities.
As the EPC contractor, we began to identify constructability challenges and engage with stakeholders from the moment we began the initial facility application. This early engagement established AltaLink’s presence in communities and began building relationships with key stakeholders that supported the four-year program. Establishing such relationships, especially with those on-site, helped plan for program construction and establish commitments to communities in terms of program schedule and scope.
When project opponents arose through the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) hearing committee, our team was there to defend engineering design, and when necessary, adjust design specifications to accommodate community requests and AUC decisions.
As part of the program’s community involvement, our team sought to successfully qualify First Nations companies and awarded $110,000 worth of contracts to companies that delivered service ranging from security to catering. We also participated in the Enoch Cree Nation Job Fair and hired staff to support this part of the program.
As always, safety was a large component of this program. Our team identified safety hazards during structure replacement, relocation and foundation installations. A risk analysis informed design and construction decisions, mitigated risks and supported field personnel coordination.