Layoffs at BPR-Bechtel

    MONTREAL, Jan. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - BPR-Bechtel has found it necessary to lay
off 330 workers from its offices across Quebec. This represents a temporary
staff reduction of nearly thirty-six percent.
    Certain of BPR-Bechtel's clients are being directly affected by the
global economic slowdown, and are consequently reducing their investments,
scale of operations, and numbers of staff. This all, of course, directly
impacts BPR-Bechtel and its employees.
    Marc Manseau, Vice-President, BPR-Bechtel Operations, explains that "even
though BPR-Bechtel has been able to ward off economic difficulties by virtue
of its involvement in a wide range of projects and by having a relatively full
order book, we are clearly being confronted with an extremely uncertain
business environment. Despite this, however, we intend to multiply our efforts
to win new contracts and develop new opportunities in 2009 to ensure that
business activities can return to normal."
    Its corporate constitution and privileged relationship with both BPR and
Bechtel positions BPR-Bechtel as part of a worldwide network with access to
highly diversified business opportunities; this raises the possibility that
employees made available by the current events can be transferred to other
business units.
    Marc Manseau emphasizes: "From ongoing discussions with our clients, we
have been satisfied to learn that their spending reductions are specific to
current economic circumstances, and capital investment projects have only been
postponed rather than cancelled. Notwithstanding this, no firm date can be
given for a return to normal activities, since it is impossible to predict
when the economy will recover."

    About BPR-Bechtel

    BPR-Bechtel offers unique expertise in capital investment program
management (CIPM) and in-plant engineering services to the heavy-industries
sector. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, the company has offices in Quebec
City, the Saguenay region, Timmins (Ontario), Utah (USA) and Johannesburg
(South Africa). Established in 2002, BPR-Bechtel is equally owned by Bechtel
Group Inc., a world leader in engineering, and BPR, a Quebec company renowned
for its outstanding expertise in the industrial sector.

For further information:

For further information: Media requests should be directed to: Jean
Perrault, Générations Perrault, (514) 499-9345,

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