SNC-Lavalin unit awarded 1.9 billion British rail contract

Montreal (AFP) –


Canadian engineering group SNC-Lavalin announced Monday it has won a $1.9 billion contract to upgrade a rail network in London and to the north of the British capital.

In a statement, the Montreal-based firm said its Atkins subsidiary "has won a contract to design £1.5 billion of track upgrades for Network Rail."

It said Atkins "will support the delivery of upgrade work across London North West, London North East and East Midland routes for the next decade."

Atkins president Philip Hoare said it was "the biggest upgrade to Britain?s railways in 150 years."

SNC-Lavalin, which employs 9,000 people in Canada, is currently at the center of a corruption case that has plunged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau into a serious political scandal.

His former justice minister accused Trudeau aides of improperly pressuring her to settle the case, which involved charges that SNC-Lavalin paid millions of dollars in bribes to obtain contracts in Libya between 2001 and 2011.

The Justice Department ultimately decided there was sufficient evidence to bring SNC-Lavalin to trial.