On behalf of Siemens Power, AltaLink and ATCO Electric, Ellis Don Construction awarded SGS two contracts to provide construction materials testing services for soils, aggregates and concrete for the Alta Link WATL (Western Alberta Transmission Line) and ATCO EATL (Eastern Alberta Transmission Line) power transmission project. Dated 30 September 2013, works commenced on 8 October and are scheduled to end on 30 April, 2014. SGS manpower for this new client will vary between four and eight inspectors.

Project Partners

Ellis Don is an employee-owned company delivering construction expertise to clients throughout the world. Ellis Don representatives chose SGS to support both WATL and EATL power transmission project partners, namely manufacturer Siemens and project owners ATCO Electric and AltaLink. The WATL and EATL power transmission project is being built to ensure adequate power capacity between the growing infrastructures of the major cities of Edmonton and Calgary.

By providing experienced civil construction inspectors, SGS can assure Ellis Don, to whom is reported to directly, as well as component manufacturer Siemens and project owners ATCO and AltaLink that all materials being implemented are within specification to prevent potential failures of structures.  

Having submitted a quality and comprehensive proposal, SGS was selected from a list of competitors due to superior SGS execution strategies and health, safety and environment (HSE) plans.

It was at the invitation of Siemens that SGS tendered for all of the transmission tower installations testing. Having won the contract, this increases the TPV for SGS as the company is performing third-party inspection for pile installation monitoring, a separate inspection method from that of the sub-stations.

WATL & EATL Transmissions Lines

The WATL and EATL carry power approximately 300 km from Edmonton to Calgary and vice versa depending on power grid demands. Four transmission stations, two in Edmonton and two in Calgary, house the main sub-station components including transformers. SGS inspectors are performing all civil construction materials testing for soils, aggregates and concrete being used to construct the Alta Link WATL and EATL projects as well as contractor Peregrine Installations pile installations for cell towers. 

Soils, Concrete & Aggregate Testing in Edmonton & Calgary

The quality of the soil at the transmission station sites plays a key role in the WATL and EATL construction project. Important characteristics of the soil on-site must be identified in order to determine its ability to support the transmission station structures. SGS soil testing is enabling project leaders to assess the suitability of the soil, providing them vital data to foster informed decision making and planning. SGS soil inspectors are completing laboratory testing for particle size distribution and compressive strengths, soil index and moisture/density. They are conducting software analysis and providing project partners technical support and consultancy.

Concrete and aggregates used in the Canadian WATL and EATL construction project must also meet strict regulations and quality standards. Many standards are compulsory requiring independent third-party concrete and aggregate testing to help in assuring compliance. SGS is implementing the full range of its concrete and aggregate testing services to ensure the quality of both the concrete and aggregate being implemented at the Edmonton and Calgary sites.

SGS inspectors are conducting early construction sample collection of soils and aggregates, testing these samples at laboratories in Edmonton and Calgary to ensure that appropriate materials are on-site and determining the technical properties of the soil. Testing methods being applied in the lab include proctor, used to determine moisture and density relationship, moisture content and particle size distribution (PSD). When construction begins, SGS experts will test the materials in the field conducting compaction density testing with a nuclear method to compare with lab test results. 

After placement of the soils, SGS inspectors will collect concrete samples in the field during the construction phase. These samples will be transported to laboratories in Edmonton and Calgary to be cured for 7, 14 and 28 days. Having been cured correctly, concrete cylinders will be tested at the labs for compressive strength to guarantee the concrete strong enough. Field testing will include methods relevant to slump, flow and air content.

SGS Material Testing Portfolio in Full Swing in Alberta

SGS inspectors are offering project partners in Alberta a comprehensive range of testing methods for a wide range of materials. SGS professionals are providing essential materials testing by verifying material characteristics for application trials, detecting defects, analyzing failures, improving new materials and conducting basic research on the theoretical strength of materials. Skilled and experienced SGS experts from a global network are implementing the latest mechanical, physical, chemical and non-destructive testing methods and using state-of-the-art laboratories to deliver accurate and reliable results to the WATL and EATL project leaders and other project partners.

SGS is proud to have been chosen on its merit and reputation by this new client and looks forward to building a strong and successful partnership.

For further information, please contact:

SGS Industrial Services
Stephanie Morrison
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
SGS Canada Inc.
2419 - 52 Avenue SE
T2C 4X7, Calgary, AB
t: +1 (403) 771-2392 

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.