On-Site Magazine

Port Hope water treatment plant bidding begins in May

By Andrew Snook   

Construction Infrastructure

Bidding for Port Hope’s new water treatment plant, one of several multi-million dollar contracts for the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI), is set to kick-off this May.

According to Glenn Case, PHAI’s manager of project engineering, the contract for the construction of the plant will be valued in the tens of millions of dollars; unfortunately, he cannot offer a more specific value at this time.

The project will be the second contract to go to bid for the $1.27-billion federal environmental cleanup program, which is a joint initiative between Natural Resources Canada, Atomic Energy Canada Limited and Public Works and Government Services Canada.

The cleanup project is designed to create a safe, long-term solution for managing historic low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) within the municipalities of Port Hope, Ont. and Clarington, Ont.


The federal government committed $1.09 billion over 10 years to the Port Hope Project and $273 million over 10 years for the Port Granby Project in Clarington.

The initiative is expected to lead to the cleanup and safe long-term management of approximately 1.4 million cubic metres of historic LLRW from various sites throughout Port Hope – including the removal of 500,000 cubic metres of LLRW from Port Hope Harbour and other waterfront area sites, which Case says presents various challenges.

He said part of the waterfront cleanup will be the suction dredge of 110,000 cubic metres of LLRW-contaminated sediment from the inner harbour and approach channel, but before that can take place, approximately 1.3 kilometres of harbour walls will need to be rehabilitated.

“It’s a very involved process,” he explained. “There’s a lot of sequences to take place before we can remove the sediment.”

The cleanup initiative will also include the relocation of approximately 450,000 cubic metres of historic LLRW from an existing site in Port Granby.

The waste originated from radium and uranium refining operations of the former Crown Corporation Eldorado Nuclear, which ran from 1932 to 1988.

The majority of the waste is contaminated soil that contains radium-226, uranium, arsenic and other residues created during the refining process.

“Our goal is to minimize the negative and maximize the benefits,” said Christine Fahey, general manager of PHAI.

She said there would be many economic benefits that will stem from the initiative and that PHAI has already hosted 18 seminars in Port Hope and Clarington about how local contractors can do business with the federal government.

She said more than 300 companies have attended the seminars and that more than 1,000 construction-related jobs will be created over the lifespan of the cleanup.

The largest project for the initiative is a new long-term waste management facility (LTWMF) and source areas remediation contract in Port Hope, which Case says will be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Port Hope-based LTWMF is expected to have a containment capacity of 1.9 million cubic metres and will consist of an aboveground-engineered containment mound, equipped with a low-permeability base liner and final cover. The facility will also have a truck decontamination facility, an operations centre and a truck weighing station.

Other large contracts include: the new long-term waste management facility and remediation of the old site in Port Granby, as well as the construction of new water treatment plants in Port Hope and Port Granby. There will also be several road upgrade contracts and private property remediation contracts.

The PHAI is divided into two projects – The Port Hope Project and the Port Granby Project, with each project listing various construction contracts that will be issued through MERX. The list of projects is as follows:

Port Hope Project contracts

– Water Treatment Plant (Bidding period starts Spring 2012, construction will run from 2012-13).

– Long-Term Waste Management Facility and Source Areas Remediation (Bidding period starts Summer/Fall 2013, construction win run from 2014-2020).

– Road Upgrades (Bidding period starts Spring 2013*, construction in 2013*).

– Private Property Remediation 1 (Bidding period starts in 2013*, construction in 2014*).

– Road Upgrades (Bidding period starts Spring 2014*, construction in 2014*).

– Private Property Remediation 2 (Bidding period starts in 2014*, construction runs from 2015-2016*)

– Road Upgrades (Bidding period starts Spring 2015*, construction in 2015)

– Private Property Remediation 3 (Bidding period starts 2013*, construction runs from 2017-2018*).

Port Granby Project contracts

– Roads Upgrade Work (Bidding period started Spring 2012, construction 2012).

– Water Treatment Plant (Bidding period starts Fall 2012/Winter 2013*, construction runs from 2013-2014*).

– New Long-Term Waste Management Facility and Remediation of Old Site (Bidding period starts Winter 2013*, construction runs from 2014-2020*).

* Still under planning – timing and nature of contracts subject to change.

 For more information on PHAI projects, visit www.phai.ca or follow PHAI on Twitter at @PHAI_PORT_HOPE.


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