July 2012, Vol. 67, No. 7


David Kavanaugh Elected President At PLCAC’s 58th Convention

Traci Read, Managing Editor

For the 350 delegates who attended the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada’s (PLCAC) 58th annual meeting, it was a time to reflect on the association’s busy year and its many accomplishments.

The PLCAC convention was held in June at the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Hotel nestled at the base of Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, British Columbia.

Featured speakers included John Carruthers, president of Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines; Michael Economides, and energy geopolitics expert and chemical and petroleum engineer who is a professor at the Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston, Houston, TX, and is a managing partner of Dr. Michael J. Economides Consultants Inc.; and inspirational adventurer Warren MacDonald.

Presiding over this year’s meeting was association president Nick deKoning, president of Robert B. Somerville Co. Ltd. deKoning noted several accomplishments and how many contractors finished the year strong. “Over the past year, the PLCAC has been very busy working on a number of rewarding initiatives. They include the successful renegotiation of another three years for its maintenance and service agreement; and increasing and combining the efforts of the PLCAC and the four craft pipeline trade unions to target individual projects being bid by non-union contractors through enabled agreements.”

Among the other accomplishments in 2011, the association completed a three-year renewal process for the PLCAC’s pipeline computer based safety training program and increased partnership between the Canadian Pipeline Advisory Council and the owner clients that resulted in a sharing of ideas between owners, contractors and the four craft pipeline trade unions.

According to deKoning, work activity picked up speed as 2011 progressed and the future looks even brighter over the next decade when mainline projects planned are expected to total more than 8,000 kilometers (4,970 miles). “Mainline work was particularly busy for contractors with projects being awarded late in the year,” he said. “Diversified projects consisted of 20-inch to 48-inch diameter pipe, totaling over 550 kilometers (342 miles). Distribution work continued to be steady in Eastern Canada while its activity grew in Western Canada primarily due to its growing economy and population.”

Looking ahead, deKoning stressed that as the outlook for 2012 and beyond looks encouraging due in part to a mature pipeline infrastructure that will require inspection and maintenance; he also noted that skilled and qualified pipeline workers are needed to meet the demands of the future. The help meet this need, the PLCAC’s Pipeline Workforce Attraction Project reaches out to high schools in Western Canada to educate students about the industry and continues to increase their presence at trade shows and conferences as they work with the four craft unions to streamline experienced workers from their affiliates in the United States.

The winner of the past year’s James L. Abraham Pipeline Construction Safety Award in the mainline category was O.J. Pipelines Canada. Three other contractors, Michels Canada, Robert B. Somerville and Waschuk Pipe Line Construction, also had no lost-time injuries but did not work as many hours as O.J. Pipelines Canada. In the distribution category, Link-Line Contractors was the winner. Also receiving recognition were Louisbourg Pipelines, Robert B. Somerville and T.W. Johnstone, each of which had no lost-time injuries but did not work as many hours as Link-Line Contractors. The winner for specialty contractor transportation was Triple Random.

The specialty contractor award for over 20,000 hours went to Michels Canada Co. and the under 20,000 hours, Academy Construction and Maintenance was recognized. Five other contractors in the specialty contractor category also had no lost-time injuries, but did not work quite as many hours as Michels Canada. They included Aecon Infrastructure Group, Louisbourg Pipelines, McCaws Drilling and Blasting, Robert B. Somerville Company and Testco Western Corp.

The Jack Cressey 2012 Future Leader Award recipient was presented to Ryan Hoyle of Aecon Utilities. Nominated by their employers, this award recognizes future pipeline construction industry leaders who have demonstrated significant leadership qualities.

New board

Officers and directors elected at the meeting to serve on the board of directors during the 2012-13 term are: President David L. Kavanaugh, president of O.J. Pipelines Canada; 1st Vice President David W. Johnstone, president of T.W. Johnstone Company Limited; 2nd Vice President Donald A. Cusack, vice president marketing at Premay Pipeline Hauling L.P.; and Treasurer Mark H. Scherer, senior vice president utilities at Aecon Infrastructure Group. Neil G. Lane serves as PLCAC executive director. The PLCAC is headquartered in Oakville, Ontario.

Directors for the new term are PLCAC Immediate Past President Nick J. de Koning, Robert B. Somerville Co.; David M. Douglas, Canadian Pipeline Division of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (Canada) Ltd.; Bernard G.Lailey; Acklands-Grainger Inc.; Michael R. Prior, Michels Canada Co.; Edward L. Shipka, Triple Random Inc.; Neil K. Waugh, The Link-Line Group of Companies; and Kevin W. Waschuk, Waschuk Pipe Line Construction.

The next convention will be held May 12-16, 2013 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, QC.

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