Slowdown sees layoff at Pictou plant

Published on December 22, 2016

The Aecon Atlantic shipyard in Pictou recently laid off employees due to lack of work.

©SUEANN MUSICK/THE NEWS

Last week a small number of unionized employees were laid off due to a slowdown in fabrication work at Aecon's Pictou facility, said the company.

“This type of slowdown is typical with fabrication projects and we expect to ramp up work again in 2017," said Nicole Court, director of corporate affairs for Aecon Group Inc.

Black Rock Tidal Power awarded the contract to fabricate its TRITON S40 tidal power platform to Aecon Atlantic Industrial Inc. in May, with plans to install the in-stream tidal device in the Bay of Fundy in 2017.

A statement from BRTP said the renewable energy company and its owner SCHOTTEL HYDRO are undertaking a design review of their Nova Scotia tidal power initiative.

“Design reviews are an ongoing component of project due diligence. During this period, work on the project will slow down while resources are focused on completing the comprehensive review.”

BRTP’s tidal-current energy technology uses 40 SIT 250 turbines mounted on the TRITON, with an overall capacity of 2.5 MW. The TRITON can be easily brought to the surface, allowing for easy maintenance access. The device will be semi-submerged and is designed to float.

Most of the existing tidal current energy systems deployed to date are single turbines that rest on the seabed. The use of multiple small turbines, together with TRITON’s maintenance approach, is believed to reduce both capital and maintenance costs.

Aecon also constructed two tidal turbines for Cape Sharp Tidal, one of which was deployed at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) near Parrsboro in early November. That turbine became Canada’s first grid connected instream tidal turbine in late November, supplying power to Nova Scotia homes and businesses.

BRTP and Cape Sharp are two of five companies from around the world awarded a demonstration site at FORCE, the country’s leading research centre for instream tidal energy.