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As part of the Muskrat Falls project, the Soldiers Pond site will be able to convert high-voltage direct current electricity for long-distance transmission to alternating current electricity for market on the island of Newfoundland. This project is part of the high-profile Labrador-Island Transmission link.
H.J. O’Connell (HJO), a division of Bird, was awarded the civil earthworks portion, which included site grading and associated work for the new substation, consisting of a 230 kV AC switchyard, a 350 kV HVDC converter yard and a synchronous condenser facility. The major work items included 240,822 m2 of clearing, 280,022 m2 of grubbing, bog and muskeg removal, 93,781 m3 of rock excavation, 520,787 m3 of common excavation, 498,755 m3 of fill placement and 84,436 m3 of rock drill and blast. A site access road and 1,980 m temporary roads, as well a borrow pit with 10,353 m2 of riprap used to protect against erosion, were also completed.
During the project, HJO experienced more than double the expected rock excavation and blast quantities. To minimize the impact on the schedule, HJO assembled more equipment on-site. Moreover, HJO’s rapport with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 1620, positively influenced the project as little to no downtime was experienced, allowing the project to be completed on schedule. Subsequently, HJO and Bird will work together on Phase 2, the construction of the synchronous condenser facility.