CANADA: Construction company Aecon and British engineering and construction firm Keltbray Group have signed a memorandum of understanding with a view to developing a joint venture to bid for rail electrification contracts in Canada.

This is Keltbray’s first venture into the international market, having entered the UK electrification sector in 2010. ‘Our rail overhead line electrification business continues to go from strength to strength, increasing turnover by 11% in 2017’, explained Keltbray Group CEO Brendan Kerr on April 18. ‘However the immediate future of the UK rail electrification arena looks less certain, and whilst we will maintain our commitment and focus on the UK market, it is only sensible and prudent for us to consider markets overseas which provide a greater degree of certainty in the medium term. Electrification is seen as a cornerstone in Canada’s drive to tackle climate change, and with our track record, we see Canada as a market with major opportunities’.

Kerr said Keltbray was ‘in the very early stages of this partnership’, but had begun to relocate 10 people to Canada to plan for forthcoming tenders.

Aecon Rail Electrification Director Dean Frazer said the two businesses would ‘complement each other in both knowledge and expertise, and will undoubtedly form an integral part in assisting Infrastructure Ontario with delivering the C$11bn of rail overhead contact system electrification works across Canada over the next 10 years’.