After years of delay, it looks as if the Keystone XL pipeline project will start construction in late 2019, early 2020.  In preparation for the start of construction, TransCanada, at the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Supply Chain Forum in Regina, announced that the organization will be looking to connect with diverse suppliers in an effort to complete the project.

The message was given by Andrea Korney, senior manager, supplier diversity and stakeholder relations with TransCanada.

According to Pipeline News Canada, “the project will have 38 pump stations. Eight of those pump stations are in Canada, three of which are in southwest Saskatchewan at Fox Valley, Piapot and Grassy Creek.”  The Canadian side will try its best to include diverse suppliers in an effort to remain inclusive on its contracts.

The 36-inch pipeline will run from Hardisty, Alta., connecting to the original Keystone pipeline at Steele City, Nebraska. It’s almost 2,000 kilometres of new pipeline, of which 529 kilometres are in Canada, and of that, a large portion is in Saskatchewan.

As Korney explained, “The anticipated construction for this project is for 2019 and 2020, with an in-service date of 2021. And of those of you who speculate this might have something to do with U.S. elections, you’re probably not wrong. Our intention is to really get this project going, but it is also very important to TransCanada. This is something we really believe in. Its been in our books for a very long time.”

Environment safety has been a big question concerning the project especially since the pipeline’s route goes through Tribal territory.  Korney assured that TransCanada is doing everything they can to work with qualified high risk suppliers and ensure the pipeline is built safely and correctly.

For suppliers looking to do business with TransCanada, Korney suggested first registering and then connecting with the appropriate category team. “She noted there’s a lot of opportunity for local supply on the operations side, and a lot of it is low risk, too. These low risk opportunities are good for younger businesses.” For higher risk opportunities connecting with suppliers for joint venture proposals may make sense for companies with lower capacity.