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Case Study: TransCanada Pipelines

Case Study: TransCanada Pipelines


Client: The TransCanada Pipelines (TCPL) GrandRapids Pipeline Project will install approximately 460 kilometres (287 miles) of crude oil pipeline from associated facilities in producing areas northwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta to terminals in the Edmonton/Heartland, Alberta region.

Challenges: With new pipelines and structures being built, new difficulties for access arose. And not just for permanent structures like pipes and pipe racks and valves. Along the way, the project will relocate temporary site offices and machinery as each stage is completed. And having to build permanent stiles and platforms was a very expensive option.

Commissioning: A TCPL engineer engaged with Canadian height access company SafeSmart Access in regards to a ranged product – the Super Maintenance Platform. TCPL’s curiosity about a product like this was only slightly diminished by doubt over aluminum construction and how it would withstand rigorous treatment and harsh Canadian elements.

To alleviate any doubt, SafeSmart Access’ team leader Tom Biggs took the unit to TCPL’s Calgary office so engineers could assess the product first-hand. So impressed was TCPL by the initiative—and the unit itself—they commissioned SafeSmart to solve several other access issues for various worksites. 

Implementation: With 3D renders, full compliance to regulations set out by OHS, CSA and the Alberta Building Code, and an obvious high-quality build, SafeSmart’s pipe rack egress steps, personnel steps for e-houses, and other custom solutions were installed along the pipeline. TCPL would now have easy, compliant, and fast access to valves, generators, heat exchanger filters and personnel buildings.

The Result: With the lightweight nature of aluminum, all components were shipped to respective sites easily and cheaply, saving TCPL thousands in logistics concerns. And TCPL’s own construction contractors were able to assemble the units without relying on expensive third parties for installation. And with sturdy construction and C channel being buried in site gravel, all units met the snow load and wind load engineering requirements for use in Alberta’s tough weather conditions.

Since this success, projects that followed the GrandRapids project have had SafeSmart Access products on site as a staple inclusion in their safety program.