TransCanada’s local contract representative Scott Bone was at the Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce lunch this past Tuesday to give a timeline of the projects and inform subcontractors how to get involved.
The two big pipelines are the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) project, which would run from near Hudson’s Hope to Prince Rupert, and the Coastal GasLink project, which would run from Dawson Creek to Kitimat.
The final investment decision (FID) for the PRGT is expected to come in this year, while the green light for the Coastal GasLink is expected for early 2016, said Bone.
But as soon as that is, there’s some other work to be done first. Before any local companies will start getting those contracts, however, TransCanada will first be hiring three prime contractors, multinational firms that are responsible for the construction of the pipelines.
“Any prime contractor that wants to bid on a TransCanada contract requires in their bid document to include details around their aboriginal and local participation program,” said Bone. “These plans describe how the contractors will identify and use the local business capacity.”
Once the prime contractors are selected, TransCanada will work with them to review exactly how they will incorporate local business into their construction. They will be required to provide TransCanada with regular reports of how many local businesses are involved.
“That information will be useful to us and also the communities to understand if we’re meeting our requirements,” said Bone.
“Every time they give you a little bit more information and every time they have anything a little bit new to say, they’re really good about letting you know,” said Bennett McGuire, the South Peace Operations Manager for D-Tech Line Locators, who attended the talk. “They’ve gone from ‘this is what we’re hoping’ to ‘this is what we’re doing’ and now they’re actually saying, ‘This is when we know our prime contractors are going to be awarded and this is who you go talk to to get the business.”
McGuire said that his company would be working with the primary contractors.
TransCanada itself doesn’t take resumes for the pipeline projects, but it is working on collecting a database of northern B.C. businesses. “Once we’ve gathered all that information we’ll go ahead and share that with our prime contractors once they’re selected so that the prime contractors can look into a community like Fort St. John and say, ‘I need welding services, I need pipe valves or I need security services,’ and they’ll be able to identify the companies as a profile of that work through that information that we’re gathering,” explained Bone.