Defence Minister Peter MacKay is scheduled to make an infrastructure announcement at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt today.
MacKay will speak at the A Jetty at the dockyard in Esquimalt at 10:15 a.m., as part of a series of infrastructure announcements that began Friday in Toronto.
While it’s unknown what the announcement will pertain to, the department says it will mean “a lot of jobs” to the region.
There is speculation that it could pertain to CFB Esquimalt’s A and B jetties, which are considered too old and small for today’s operations. Built in the 1940s, they’re made of treated wood that needs to be replaced.
Key contracts being awarded could become a $300-million construction project to replace the main docks where warships tie up at CFB Esquimalt.
Supporting infrastructure, such as electrical wiring, water and sewage conduits and telecommunications cables, also requires upgrading to meet modern standards.
A $4.3-million engineering design contract for A Jetty was awarded in October last year to Amec Americas Ltd. of Halifax.
Design work for B Jetty is ongoing with consulting company Stantec.
A $1.1-million contract was also awarded in 2012 to Ruskin Construction to upgrade A Jetty to keep it operational.
Once replaced, the new jetties will provide berthing space for four frigates or destroyers, two Arctic and offshore patrol ships, one resupply vessel and two submarines.
The goal has been to have the designs for the jetties completed in late summer or fall of 2014. And if federal funding approval is given, construction could be completed in 2017 or 2018.
— With files from Carla Wilson
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