Clarification: Aecon makes donation but isn’t building Quito’s new Metropolitan Convention Center

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convention center quito
Rendering of the Quito convention center

A Florida-based public relations agency has issued a misleading news release which inaccurately asserted that that Canadian contractor Aecon Group Inc. is building the new Metropolitan Convention Center in Quito, Ecuador.

This is untrue. Aecon pointed out the error after Canadian Design and Construction Report published the announcement distributed by Newlink, which said in the original document that “Canada’s largest publicly traded construction company, Aecon, is in charge of building the project.”

In fact, the Canadian contractor says “a donation was made by Aecon to a non-profit organization set up to manage the delivery of the convention centre project,” as a thank-you following the sale of Aecon’s interest in the Quito airport project.”

In a clarification email, Newlink said: “We apologize for the miscommunication on the information I previously shared with you regarding Quito’s Metropolitan Convention Center and I want to clarify AECON’s involvement in project.”

 AECON is NOT the construction company for the project, however a donation made by AECON is financing the first construction phase of the Convention Center. Below I highlight in the press release the mention of AECON’s involvement. To be clear, Ekron is the official construction company for the project.

The project, expected to be completed in 2018 in 14 months will feature 28,000 sq. ft. of meeting spaces plus the following features:

  • Encompasses 16,443 sq. ft. and includes two lobbies: one at 1,750 sq. ft. and the other at 1,360 sq. ft.;
  • Two exhibition spaces of more than 2,500 square feet with a capacity of over 4,000 people each;
  • Multifunctional auditorium with a capacity of 800 people;
  • Event space with 2,502 sq. ft. with a capacity of 4,000 people; and
  • Several other work spaces.

The revised news release also says:

The first construction phase is being financed by a donation made by AECON, Canada’s largest publicly traded construction company, and is headed by CEES, the Ecuadorian Council of Sustainable Construction, who chose Ekron as the official construction company for the project. Plans after finalizing the construction of the Convention Center include becoming an LEED-certified establishment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and using less water and energy.

Aecon did not disclose the size of its financial contribution for the convention center project.

The Canadian contractor said in December 2015 that it had completed the sale of its 45.5 per cent interest in “in the Quito International Airport concessionaire, Corporaciσn Quiport S.A. (Quiport), for US$232.6 million to Grupo Odinsa S.A. and CCR S.A.”

“The monetization of Aecon’s investment generates approximate net cash proceeds (after transaction costs and estimated cash taxes) of US$195 million,” the Aecon announcement then said.

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