Romaine Hydroelectric Complex

Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada

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Hydro-Québec’s strategic plan from 2004 to 2008 aimed to increase the electricity production in the province of Québec. The Romaine Hydroelectric Complex, a cornerstone of this strategy, is the largest one of its kind built in the province since the Robert Bourassa (LG-2) generation facility in the James Bay area which was commissioned in 1979. This massive undertaking was led by AECOM as the Engineer of Record for the hydroelectric complexes of Romaine 1 and Romaine 3, as lead of the Consortium with SNC-Lavalin for the Romaine 2 complex, and as the Engineer of Record for the Romaine 4 powerhouse. 

The $7.4-billion Romaine complex is capable of producing eight terawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power nearly 470,000 homes. It generates its power from the Romaine River, located north of Havre-St-Pierre (Province of Québec), near the Labrador border. 

AECOM played a pivotal role in the project’s successful execution by leading the design and participating in construction follow-up. Our involvement with all four complexes, constructed from 2009 to 2023, covered a wide spectrum of services including project management, preparation of geological and geotechnical investigation programs, analysis of investigation results, detailed and performance engineering, electro-mechanical equipment performance reviews as well as construction support. Our engineering teams ensured a seamless and efficient project delivery, despite complex challenges. This included using non-conventional, unique and innovative methods for the powerhouses’ design, including 3D modeling using CATIA, in order to improve coordination, constructability and construction schedules. 

AECOM’s design ingenuity has been recognized by various associations with the attribution of the following awards:

  • Armatura Award, Romaine-3 Temporary Diversion Structure, 2014
  • Tunnelling Association of Canada, Canadian Infrastructure Project of the Year, Romaine-3 Head Race Tunnel, 2016
  • Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, Award of Excellence in Steel Construction, Romaine-2 Powerhouse, 2016

Each complex has its own unique infrastructure, including but not limited to dams, dykes, spillways, intake structures, penstocks, surge shaft, powerhouse, galleries, and tailrace, all designed to harness the river’s energy potential. These structures vary in dimensions, capacities, and commissioning timelines and form a comprehensive hydroelectric network.