The call for tenders for the largest public transport project in Quebec is launched

Given its scope, the global procurement process will have to be divided into four major contracts, according to the market notice published by the subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

A first contract will be for upstream operator services and operation and maintenance of infrastructure and project assets.

The vice-president of corporate affairs, development and strategy, Harout Chitilian, mentions in this regard a innovation. In other words, the designer of the Eastern REM’s operating system will be called upon to be its operator. For the first phase, this logic had not been established.

A second contract is planned for the supply of rolling stock and systems, a third for the design and construction of civil and aerial works, and a fourth for the design and construction of the 8-kilometer tunnel of the Marie Victorin branch. .

We believe that there are enough kilometers of tunnel to make it a specific batch and attract an established international player who will only be interested in its construction., explains Mr. Chitilian.

The Alice tunnel boring machine cannot be used since the tunnel will be larger and in a different soil than that of the first phase under the Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau International Airport in Montreal.

A fundamental mission is to arouse the market’s interest in this project. It is hoped that more bidders will want to qualify and submit proposals. Competitive bidding allows better value for money.

A quote from:Harout Chitilian, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Development and Strategy, CDPQ Infra

The creation of 60,000 jobs is expected during the six years of construction of the project of 32 kilometers and 23 stations. The first shovelful should take place in the spring or summer of 2023.

Local content will be maximisé

In 2018, the announcement of the construction of REM cars in India by Alstom shocked many Quebeckers, starting with the Coalition Avenir Québec, now in power.

The description given in the market notice for rolling stock remains essentially the same for the Eastern REM, but there can be no guarantee that Alstom will be awarded the contract again.

Our commitment to local content is to maximize it while respecting international treaties and the legislation in place, repeats Harout Chitilian. The parameters as to how we will reach this maximum threshold will be known later.

Each of the four contracts could have different parameters.

Alstom recently acquired Bombardier Transport and its factories. From what The Canadian Press reported in March, the French manufacturer now wants public transport contracts in Quebec to come with local content requirements.

The $ 10 billion bill upheld

Despite the increase in material prices and the scarcity of labor, CDPQ Infra maintains its bill at $ 10 billion. An update of the construction value by 2029 will be presented in the spring before the consultations of the Office of Public Hearings on the Environment.

Adding a 500 meter tunnel downtown Montreal risks inflating the bill.

The first phase of the REM, valued at nearly $ 7 billion, experienced cost overruns of nearly 1.5 billion, in particular due to the addition of three stations in the city center.

But first of all, another question remains unanswered and raises concerns : What will the aerial structure of the Eastern REM look like?

The architectural vision will be presented at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

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