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History

History

EBC is a family business founded in 1968 by Fernand Houle and his brother Germain. They built the company on their core values of respect, integrity and a job well done — values that the current president, Marie-Claude Houle, is proud to uphold.

Since Ms. Houle assumed the leadership of the company in 1999, annual revenues have soared from $100 to $800 million, making EBC one of the two largest construction companies in Québec. We have a team of 1,500 employees with offices in Québec City, Montréal, Brossard, Val-d’Or, Ottawa, Mississauga,Timmins and Vancouver.

In the last 50 years, EBC has contributed to more than 700 projects totalling near than $15 billion. From Newfoundland and Labrador to New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia, as well as the international arena, clients have chosen EBC for our professionalism and our respect of budgets and timelines. This rigorous approach is applied to all our projects, whether building construction, civil engineering, earthworks, mining, marine works, energy transport, wind power, etc.

Milestones in EBC's history

Building

In 1968, Fernand Houle and his brother founded Entreprises Bon Conseil, later shortened to EBC. At that time, the team focused primarily on the construction of institutional buildings. Their first major contract was the expansion of the Québec City Academy, forerunner of the Cégep de Sainte-Foy college.

Diversification

EBC soon expanded its areas of operation to include bridge, tunnel and viaduct construction. The first civil engineering contract was challenging: constructing the pillars for the Québec Bridge interchange. This project was so successful that other specialties were added, including earthworks (roads, aqueducts, sewers, etc.). As a result, EBC still stands out from its competitors, who tend to limit their work to building construction.

In 1984, GLR, a power line specialist, joined the EBC Group. Its main client is Hydro-Québec.

In the early 80s, in order to better serve its clientele, EBC decided to restructure the company by creating three divisions: Building, Civil Engineering and Earthworks. This tripartite structure allows for greater efficiency in realising both specialized smaller projects and major mandates involving several divisions. Today, our team still manages $500,000 projects and many hundreds of millions projects with the same rigour and efficiency.

Also during the 80s, EBC carried out its first turnkey contracts, with direct involvement in project design and optimization.

Major hydroelectric projects

In the late 70s, EBC was awarded its first contracts in James Bay, primarily in connection with the LG3 and Opinaca projects.

In 1991, the company built its first tunnel (drilling and blasting) with the construction of the LA-1 diversion tunnel in James Bay.

In 1991, EBC built its first hydroelectric plant: Brisay at the outlet of the Caniapiscau Reservoir. The successful completion of this complex mandate marked a turning point for the company. In 1995, Hydro-Québec commissioned EBC to build the SM-3 Main Dam in Québec’s Côte-Nord (North Shore) region, a $192 million project for which EBC invested $20 million in equipment.

EBC’s reputation extends beyond Québec’s borders. In 2008, the firm won its first contract in Manitoba: all the civil engineering and earthworks for the Wuskwatim Generating Station, a $400 million project commissioned by Manitoba Hydro. In 2011, Regional Power Inc. turned to EBC for the construction of the Long Lake hydroelectric plant in northern British Columbia near the Alaskan border. In 2012, EBC and its partners obtained their first Labrador contract for the Lower Churchill project at Muskrat Falls.

To date, we have carried out more than a three billion dollars in hydropower contracts. This experience encompasses a variety of projects, including hydroelectric stations, dams, tunnels and substations, built for Hydro-Québec, the James Bay Energy Corporation, Algonquin Power and various private energy developers.

Conquering the montreal market

In 1990, EBC opened an office in Brossard to boost its presence in the Greater Montréal region. This successful strategy led to the construction of several large-scale projects.

In 2002, the Metropolitan Transportation Agency (ATM) hired EBC to carry out excavation and concrete work for the subway extension to Laval. This project earned the company two Armatura Awards. At the same time, by acquiring the company Hydrotech Marine, EBC added underwater construction services to its list of specialities.

In 2010, EBC opened a new office in Old Montréal, enabling it to forge closer links with its Montréal-based clients and business partners. These include McGill University, Concordia University, University of Sherbrooke, Sacresa, Le Groupe Maurice, the Montréal Transit Authority (Société de transport de Montréal) and many others.

The success of the Building division is undeniable. In the last years, EBC obtained several prestigious contracts, including a $220M contract for the CHUM, the construction of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, valued at ±$60M, the contract for the Deloitte Tower office renovation in Montréal, and the Ottawa Art Gallery, a $80M contract, which includes a hotel and condominium units.

Renewable energy

Since 2006, essential player in green energy sector with wind turbines, EBC continues to stand out to ensure its presence in this sphere of activity. In February 2013, EBC obtained its most important wind farm contract, namely the Rivière-du-Moulin project, a 175-wind turbine farm located near the Laurentides Wildlife Reserve. EBC is one of the largest wind farm builders in Canada, with over 2 000 MW completed or in progress.

Mining development

In 2010, Cliffs Natural Resources awarded EBC a major mining contract in connection with the construction of the Bloom Lake mine in Fermont. This experience positionned EBC for upcoming work on Québec’s Plan Nord. Also in 2010, the company consolidated its expertise by acquiring Don Bourgeois and Sons, known today as EBC Mines. EBC clients can now benefit from the expertise of this team, in operation across North America, which has specialized in underground mining since 1979.

Major projects on the horizon

For the Civil Works / Earthworks division, in 2013 and 2014, EBC obtained three power station contracts in British Columbia, and opened a business office in Vancouver to ensure effective follow-up of the construction sector in this province.

In addition, in 2014, EBC creates an affiliated company in Timmins, Ontario, Northec Construction Inc., in order to develop the mining and infrastructure sectors in Northern Ontario.

Finally, in 2015, EBC is proud to announce that it is part of the consortium selected for the construction of the Champlain Bridge, with SNC Lavalin, Flatiron and Dragados, a project estimated at $2.2 billion.

All this success has been made possible by our bilingual, mobile and highly skilled team. Thanks to the expertise and determination of our 1,500 employees. In 2017, EBC successfully completed more than $800 million of works, divided among the provinces of Canada. And the best is yet to come! EBC is proud to have a work backlog of more than $1.0 billion. Want to join us in taking on these challenges? Check out our Careers section.