Energy security is a key objective for any country. Yet the benefits of building the Energy East Pipeline go far beyond safely moving oil across our country, from West to East, for the first time. The project will also deliver direct benefits to many communities along the pipeline route — in the form of new jobs, stronger economic activity and additional tax revenue.
The 4,500-kilometre (km) pipeline project represents a $12 billion investment that will support thousands of well-paying jobs for welders, backhoe operators, technicians, truck drivers or land surveyors.
In fact, an independent study by the Conference Board of Canada has estimated that Energy East would generate about 14,000 direct and indirect full-time jobs across Canada during the development and construction stage. All along the pipeline, TransCanada workers and contractors will stay in local hotels and eat in restaurants in the communities they work and live. This will be a boon for local economies.
There will also be a trickle-down effect for our suppliers, all those Canadian companies that TransCanada has chosen for the quality of their products and services and which will deliver everything from reinforced steel and butt weld fittings to anti-corrosion pipeline coating and the electric motors that will power the pump stations that safely push the oil along the pipeline.
In New Brunswick alone, the construction of 415 km of pipeline will support more than 2,300 full-time direct and spin-off jobs during construction. This means local jobs for New Brunswickers, many of whom currently have to leave their family at home to seek work out West.
“Energy East represents a direct opportunity for much-needed jobs here. The refineries are an important part of our economy and they require this type of infrastructure to remain competitive,” says Dave Grebenc, co-CEO of Innovatia, a Saint John-based company that employs 600 staff and offers IT support and training to clients. “It will also spur spinoff projects and this means the opportunity for new work for businesses like ourselves.”
The project will also generate $760 million in new tax revenues for the province and its municipalities, while growing the local economy by $3 billion. To put things in perspectives, this represents nearly half of the government’s annual spending in the province.
TransCanada has already invested more than $25 million with local businesses in New Brunswick on the project for services such as surveying, engineering and translation. Overall, the investment in New Brunswick will total $2.4 billion. It will provide a safe, steady and reliable supply of Canadian oil to the Irving refinery in Saint John that is currently relying on foreign imports.
These benefits alone are huge and they won’t stop when the pipeline goes into service.
Energy East will generate another 3,000 jobs during the first 20 years of operation. There will be on-going work at our proposed pump stations along the pipeline route in rural New Brunswick and at the Canaport Energy East Marine Terminal. We’ll need technicians who carry out in-line inspections by launching advanced tools to inspect the pipeline inside and out as well as helicopter pilots and ground surveyors to patrol the pipeline’s right of way.
The benefits of Energy East are real and they will have lasting and cascading economic effects on local communities and the national industries, such as refiners and manufacturers, which rely on the daily transport of energy products to sustain the lifestyle that many Canadians take for granted.