Fundy Engineering, based in Saint John, N.B., has been involved in thousands of projects in the more than three decades it has been in operation, ranging all the way from sea squirt control to solar farm studies. But it’s the oil and gas sector that has been a mainstay for the company, illustrating the importance of spinoff benefits in the Atlantic region from energy production and distribution.
Gordon Mouland, Fundy Engineering’s past president and CEO, is a co-founder of the multi-disciplinary engineering services firm. He believes that it’s important to be something of a Jack-of-all-trades in today’s economy, taking on big and small projects. He says the ability to pivot with the evolving needs of the energy sector is a key to success.
“We support oil and gas, and other energy entities through good engineering and consulting, as a service industry,” Mouland says. “That is basically what we have been doing. But that has evolved over the years.”
David Campbell, president of Jupia Consultants and a former economic adviser to the New Brunswick government, says the Atlantic region benefits from major spin-off employment in the petroleum sector.
According to information from Statistics Canada, Campbell says that for every direct job in the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas extraction sector, a total of 3.9 jobs are supported across the provincial economy.
In New Brunswick’s refining sector, a total of 2.7 jobs are supported across the provincial economy. And for every direct job in the oil and gas engineering construction sector in Nova Scotia, such as pipelines, 1.7 jobs are supported across the province.
Mouland recalls that when Canaport came to Saint John – the first LNG terminal in Canada – Fundy Engineering was there from the beginning and helped with public liaison and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. Environmental offsets were required, and Fundy Engineering was instrumental in transforming an old lagoon into a community water feature with walking trails, something that is greatly appreciated by people in the area.
“We have done many projects that support the green initiatives society is looking for,” Mouland says. “It’s not just protecting the environment, it’s how to make the world a better place to live in through green solutions.”
While Fundy Engineering remains involved in the oil, gas and nuclear sectors, Mouland says more and more companies are becoming involved in spinoffs – from new developments in green energy, offering products like net zero homes, geothermal systems, and solar generation.
He sees the development of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), such as those being developed in Saint John, as key to meeting the energy needs of tomorrow. Fundy Engineering has done work at the Point Lepreau nuclear station and is involved with NB Power on the creation of environmental road maps.
“SMRs are a very important part of how we can get where we want,” says Mouland. “We will need to generate more electricity without producing greenhouse gas to get to net-zero which is where society is leading us.”
New energy technologies, he says, are becoming a larger part of Fundy Engineering’s workload.