HALIFAX – The president of the Energy East Pipeline encouraged a business audience Wednesday to start registering for possible work on the proposed cross-country project.
Steve Pohlod said in a speech at the Maritimes Energy Association in Halifax that the subsidiary of TransCanada (TSX:TRP) will need everything from security personnel for work camps to geotechnical experts and mechanical engineers if the 4,500-kilometre project is approved.
The executive invited firms to start registering on a company website for a pre-qualification process.
“The time to start is now. Though we’re in early days it’s never too early to start some of these activities,” Pohlod said at the evening gathering.
The executive didn’t say precisely how much local work is guaranteed for firms from each province, but he said the company will consider hiring in the areas where it is building the pipeline.
“We need to develop strategies that will develop local opportunities,” he said.
TransCanada executives have been touring the country to promote the proposed development, which would reconfigure part of its cross-Canada natural gas mainline to carry oil from Alberta to Saint John, N.B.
The company expects to file a regulatory application this summer with the National Energy Board for the 4,460-kilometre route, which includes 1,460 kilometres of new pipeline.
The Conservation Council of New Brunswick says fishermen are concerned about a rise in supertanker traffic in the Bay of Fundy as a result of the project.
Matthew Abbott, a spokesman for the group, says homeowners also want to know about the possible impact on water supplies and sports fishing groups have expressed concerns about river crossings.
Pipeline safety has been in the spotlight of late after a natural gas pipeline explosion south of Winnipeg, resulting in thousands of homes losing their heating source in the midst of frigid Prairie temperatures.
The pipeline involved in the Jan. 25 explosion carries natural gas, posing different risks from the oil pipelines like Energy East and Keystone XL would.
Explosions are less of a concern with oil pipelines, but the environmental impacts from a possible crude spill would be more severe.