Pipeline replacement project begins in SW Manitoba

Hundreds of workers expected to give local businesses a boost

Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Program is now under way in Western Manitoba, cutting directly across the lands south of Virden.

Line 3 enters Manitoba near Kola, goes past Cromer and Scarth (a 20 km segment at Cromer is already completed) and through Winkler before entering the US at Gretna.

article continues below

The project is digging up the existing 50-year-old pipeline and replacing it with new pipe to transport crude oil from Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin.

On completion in 2019, it’s expected to move 760,000 barrels a day.

Local benefits

Enbridge estimates the project will generate more than 3,800 temporary full time jobs in Manitoba.

This influx of workers into the region is expected to give local communities a boost, says Enbridge spokesperson Jesse Semko.

“Communities will benefit from the Line 3 Replacement Program through employment opportunities and spin-offs for goods and services needed to support construction and ongoing operations.”

Semko says, “The project will also stimulate local economies through the purchase of goods and services from local retailers and suppliers of accommodation and food for workers.”

The company predicts the project will add $392 million to Manitoba’s economy during the construction phase, and $108 million in tax revenue for the provincial government.

An Enbridge pamphlet that explains what residents can expect while the project is in their area says between 600 and 800 employees will be working at any of the construction areas.

Welders, pipefitters, and general labourers are hired by the two pipeline contractors chosen for the Manitoba section: Banister Pipelines and SA Energy Group. Most of the workers will be subcontracted through them.

Tips for retailers

There are no camps for these workers to live in so businesses have an opportunity to provide services they need from food to laundry services to entertainment.

Enbridge offers a tip sheet on how local retailers can take advantage of the temporary bump in activity, including:

-Consider adjusting your business hours and services as workers will have limited personal time.

-Competitive pricing is critical. “Crew workers can be expected to be selective in their buying choices.”

-Become an advocate, let your customers know you support pipeline construction and the benefits it brings.




© Virden Empire-Advance