TransCanada Corp. has struck a deal that could create more than 200 new jobs in Quebec. The pipeline company signed a major agreement with power and automation provider ABB to deliver electrical houses, or “e-houses,” to provide power distribution for the pump stations along the Energy East Pipeline.
At least 22 of these multi-million dollar e-houses are expected to be manufactured at a new production facility in the greater Montreal region. The agreement to manufacture the electrical houses will create up to 120 jobs in Quebec and a further 90 spin-off jobs outside of the greater Montreal area. The order is conditional on TransCanada receiving regulatory approvals for the construction of the project.
“This agreement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to hire local suppliers to safely build this piece of national energy infrastructure and support job creation in Quebec,” said John Soini, president of the Energy East Pipeline project.
E-houses are prefabricated, modular, outdoor enclosures that house critical electrical and automation equipment required to power pump stations, ensuring safe and GHG-efficient operations.
“ABB has a more than 60 year history of e-house innovation,” said Nathalie Pilon, managing director for ABB in Canada. “We are pleased to have been able to work closely with TransCanada on an innovative, integrated e-house concept with a much smaller footprint.”
The e-houses have been custom-designed to TransCanada’s requirements, with a compact design to minimize the impact on the local environment. The robust e-houses have a lifetime of more than 30 years and they have been specified to withstand extreme cold and snow conditions. Pump stations produce the pressure needed to transport crude oil through pipelines.
“We are already very active in Quebec, spending $100 million in contracts with more than 250 suppliers over the last three years alone,” Soini added. “This includes $25 million in service contracts in preparation of the project. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Québec suppliers as we develop the project and will work to develop further opportunities.”
As the Conference Board of Canada concluded, the multi-billion dollar Energy East project will create more than 3,000 jobs each year in Quebec during the nine years of planning and construction for the pipeline, along with $972 million in tax revenue for the province. When the pipeline goes into service, total tax revenues for Quebec will be $1.2 billion for the first 20 years of its operation.
Soini points out that while the economic benefits of the project are important, TransCanada’s main focus is ensuring that the Energy East pipeline will operate safely.
“Pipelines remain the safest way of transporting the oil Québec relies on every day,” Soini said. “Pipelines use a lot less energy than diesel powered trains or trucks because they operate using electricity, creating a significantly lower carbon footprint. Energy East will create the capacity to displace the equivalent of 1,570 rail cars of crude oil per day to Eastern Canada.”