Decarbonization Goals Are Driving Burns & McDonnell Expansion in Canada
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Decarbonization Goals Are Driving Burns & McDonnell Expansion in Canada

Employment Growth Expected to Continue in 2023

12/14/2022 3 minute read

CALGARY, Alberta — Canada’s move to decarbonize its power and industrial sectors, as well as the need to backfill power supplied by retiring assets, is translating into growth for the Burns & McDonnell Canada Group. The company is expanding its longtime presence in the country with a broader portfolio of engineering, construction, environmental, technical and security consulting services. This will enable local support of critical infrastructure projects and programs with a focus on those aligned with Canada’s transitional goals to reduce carbon emissions by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 and to ultimately achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“We are focused on providing our Canadian clientele with the technical, engineering and construction support they will need as Canada mobilizes to address the transition of our energy infrastructure,” says Calgary-based Darcy Wagner, managing director for Canada. “We’re quickly building our team, enabling us to expand beyond our core strength in transmission and distribution, power generation and program management to add resources for local support of well-established business lines in oil and gas refining, energy storage, chemicals processing, food and consumer products, environmental and management consulting, and transportation electrification.”

Burns & McDonnell has just opened a large, new full-service office in downtown Calgary, with plans for further expansion. The company’s office in Toronto is likewise expecting significant growth in 2023. Leading the growth in Calgary will be the addition of a large team supporting Canadian oil, gas and chemicals companies that are investing many billions of dollars to transition to renewable fuels, capture CO2 emissions and expand hydrogen production facilities.

“We’re seeing all the majors in Canada ramping up on their renewable fuels and carbon capture programs, while at the same time we are seeing growth in natural gas liquids processing, petrochemicals and some traditional debottlenecking projects as global markets for oil and gas have tightened,” says Jeff Smith, global practice manager of the Oil, Gas & Chemical Group in Canada. “Process engineering is in high demand on these projects, and we expect to have nearly 50 engineers, project managers and construction execution staff on board by the end of 2023. Clients are responding favorably to our model of providing high-quality process engineering and EPC execution services.”

Burns & McDonnell Canada will also be building on its core strength in the power engineering sector as it continues to support several new generating facilities being built throughout western Canada. The company is midway through construction of the 360-megawatt Great Plains Generating Station, a new gas-fired facility for SaskPower located near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The project follows the 2019 commissioning of SaskPower’s Chinook Power Station, located near Swift Current. The company’s project resume also includes the City of Medicine Hat LM6000 addition, engineering for Capital Power’s Genesee Units 1 and 2 repower, owner’s engineer services for combined cycle in Alberta, and ongoing construction program management services to Hydro One and Toronto Hydro.

“We’re honored to be supporting our Canadian clients and their initiatives to transition their generation and the grid to meet Canada’s aggressive carbon objectives,” says Jeff Reid, vice president of energy operations for Burns & McDonnell Canada. “The gas-fired power resources that we are designing and building are an essential part of Canada’s overall strategy of maintaining grid stability and reliability while the country transitions to low-carbon and zero-carbon power generation resources.”  

According to Wagner, it is anticipated that the growth in demand for project services will exceed expectations, so contingency plans are being developed for office space expansion within Calgary very soon.

“This is a great problem to have,” Wagner says. “It really reflects the urgent demands of our customers as they cope with the massive transition to cleaner energy sources and the new technologies that will be required.” 

Burns & McDonnell has provided engineering services in Canada since the 1940s and our Canada division was formally established in 2006. Permanent project offices were opened in Calgary in 2012 and in Toronto in 2016. Those earlier projects included major transmission system projects for a number of large utilities, including AltaLink and Hydro One and then the natural gas generation projects for SaskPower.

About Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies bringing together an unmatched team of 10,000 engineers, construction and craft professionals, architects, and more to design and build our critical infrastructure. With an integrated construction and design mindset, we offer full-service capabilities. Founded in 1898 and working from more than 60 offices globally, Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned. Learn how we are designed to build.

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