June 17, 2015
The Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada held its 61st annual convention on the island of Maui at the Hyatt Regency Resort, April 13-17. The turnout was amazing with 480 delegates.
PLCAC’s 2014-2015 president Mike Prior of Michels Canada reported at the opening general meeting on contractor member volume worked in 2014. Prior noted that the distribution pipeline work was steady at 2.3 million man hours. The pipeline maintenance and service area grew substantially by 38 percent to 1.5 million man hours. Mainline pipeline activity was down 20 percent to 5.5 million man hours, but it was the second highest in more than 10 years. Overall, there were 9.3 million man hours of construction work, down 20 percent from 2013, but again was the second highest over the last 10 years.
Future Canadian pipeline projects over the period of 2015-2020 looks solid. Mainline work includes a number of projects more than 400 km long. These include Northern Gateway, Keystone XL, Energy East, TMX, Norlite Diluent, Wood Buffalo Extension and the L3R Project. These projects range from 450 to almost 3,000 km long. There are also numerous projects under 400 km and LNG pipeline projects.
The convention included guest speakers. Most notable was Ezra Levant, a noted broadcaster and best-selling author. Levant addressed the area of fracking and the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks. He presented data to debunk the arguments by environmentalists throughout North America fighting to stop fracking.
There were numerous social activities for the conventioneers. Highlighting the evening networking events was a “Viva Hawaii” party with an exciting Elvis Presley impersonator and a “Welcome to the Jungle” theme party that was sponsored by Caterpillar.
During the convention PLCAC presented the 2015 Jack Cressey Future Leader Award to Darel Malcolmson of Michels Canada.
PLCAC’s safety program was a major presentation at the meeting. Recipients of the James L. Abraham Pipeline Construction Safety Awards Program included O.J. Pipelines Canada, Aecon Utilities, Premay Pipeline Hauling, Sommerville and Michels Canada.
At the gala dinner on the last night of the convention, Prior turned over his gavel to Mark Scherer, Aecon Utilities, as 2015-2016 president. The next convention will be held May 29-June 2, 2016, at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.