Brian Gallant, the freshly elected premier of New Brunswick, wasted no time after taking office on October 7 to plan a trip west. Two weeks after being sworn in as his province’s 33rd premier, Gallant stepped off a plane in Calgary, and made a visit to TransCanada’s downtown headquarters.
Gallant toured our state-of-the-art Control Centre, which monitors activity across TransCanada’s 70,000-km pipeline networks to ensure the safe movement of oil and gas throughout North America.
The premier was also looking to the future, and all the proposed Energy East Pipeline project promises for his home province.
“The Energy East Pipeline is a great opportunity for us to give some more momentum not only to that industry but to the New Brunswick economy in general,” Gallant noted. “The infrastructure investment alone will help stimulate the economy, which is something that we definitely want to see happen in the short term. In the long term, it is going to help sustain, maintain and even improve an industry that is very important to New Brunswick.”
Energy East would see the conversion of about 3,000 km of gas pipeline in order to carry oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan toward Eastern Canada. An additional 1,400 km of new pipeline would be built starting near the Ontario-Quebec border to bring that crude to two refineries and a shipping terminal in Quebec, and to a third refinery and another marine terminal in Saint John, NB.
An expansion of the Control Centre is planned to offer that same high-tech security monitoring to Energy East. Premier Gallant seemed rather impressed.
“It is very clear when we come into the Control Centre here, that safety is always top of mind. I think that it is very reassuring to myself. It’ll be very reassuring to the people of New Brunswick,” Gallant said.
Among the measures to ensure the safe transportation of energy is around-the-clock satellite monitoring which sends data every five seconds from literally thousands of sensors that can detect even the smallest changes in temperature, pressure, and flow rate.
That technology is at the ready 24/7. If operators can’t pinpoint the cause of any alert within 10 minutes, remote-controlled valves are activated to halt the flow in the area in question. Crews then get to work to determine the situation.
Premier Gallant got to see those systems at work first-hand. He came away from his visit even more convinced that Energy East is the right choice for his province, and all of Canada.
“The oil industry is a very important industry for our nation. We have seen with past projects that it is important for us to diversify our markets,” Gallant said. “The Energy East Pipeline will allow us as a nation to do that.”