PLCA Canada Celebrates Accomplishments, Bright Future

June 2009 Vol. 64 No. 6
Ted Shipka addresses convention attendees.

Also during the past year, representatives from both the mainline and distribution
negotiating committees completed negotiations for renewal of the Pipeline
Maintenance and Service Agreement for Canada with the four pipeline craft unions.

President’s address

In addressing the membership, Shipka pointed out that “the past two years have been an extremely busy period for the Canadian pipeline construction industry. Most of this has been the construction of larger diameter crude oil pipelines. From 2006 through this past winter we were involved in the construction of approximately 4,810 kilometers of pipeline ranging in size from 16 through 42-inch diameter.

“In 2008 alone,” he continued “PLCAC Members reported a total of 7.04 million man hours worked on pipeline projects in Canada. Our contractors installing gas distribution systems worked a record 1.83 million man hours during 2008. On the mainline construction side, our members worked 5.21 million man hours, which was the second highest recorded number of man hours ever worked in the history of our Association.”

Shipka emphasized that “the amount of work performed in 2008 was a tremendous accomplishment – by both our contractor members – and their partners, the four pipeline craft unions. This was achieved at a time when there was a critical shortage of skilled construction workers throughout Canada necessitating the aggressive recruitment and training of many first time workers to our industry.”

He added that the “work picture for 2009 in the Canadian pipeline industry remains strong. In terms of gas distribution construction work, while the volume of activity in 2009 may not reach the record level attained in 2008, it appears that the majority of the work which may be foregone as a result of slowdown in residential housing construction will be largely off set by an increased focus on utility maintenance projects.

“In terms of mainline construction activity, several major mainline spreads will be working this
summer and next winter – the Enbridge Alberta Clipper this summer and the TransCanada
North Central Corridor next winter. There are some mainline gas pipeline projects in northern
BC that are coming out for tender shortly. In addition, our clients have a number of other
projects that are continuing to proceed through the pre construction planning phase in both
eastern and western Canada,” Shipka said.

The 2010 convention will be held June 6 - 10, at the Sheraton Hotel in St John’s, Newfoundland.