Hydro-Quebec broke ground last month for its Romaine Complex, a $6.5-billion hydropower project comprising four rockfill dams on the Romaine River, ranging in height from 34 m to 114 m and generating a total of 1,550 MW. The first powerplant will be commissioned in 2014, with final completion scheduled for 2020. The workforce is expected to peak at 2,000 between 2012 and 2016. The river is 500 miles east of Quebec City and flows into the Saint Lawrence River.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.