TransCanada’s Airdrie service centre has been one of the backbones of the Calgary-based company’s pipeline operations for many years.
At first glance, the facility at 1401 Veterans Blvd. NE almost looks like a college campus, but then you get into the large machine shops and service bays, where skilled workers maintain much of the equipment needed to keep gas flowing through the pipelines that snake through Alberta – including maintaining such behemoths as the General Electric LM1600 turbine that looks as if it belongs on a Saturn V headed for the moon.
“This facility was built in 1984; back then, we were Nova and we merged with TransCanada in 1998,” says Trevor Georgsen, pipeline manager for the Rocky Mountain Region (RMR), which covers most of Alberta south of Edmonton, plus a chunk of southeastern B.C. “Out of this facility, we provide support for four AOIs [areas of influence] – Rocky Mountain House, Stettler, Brooks and SABC [Southern Alberta-B.C.]. We do major-equipment repairs, minor overhauls on the LM1600 jets, the RB211s by Rolls-Royce, and we have a dry-seal shop which is very specialized for our compressors.”
Approximately 55 to 60 people work out of the Airdrie facility, which also provides offices for TransCanada’s director of field operations for RMR and its community and aboriginal liaison, Georgsen says. And employees don’t just work on Alberta-based equipment – TransCanada’s operations stretch into Eastern Canada and as far south as Mexico.
“We’ve done [major-equipment repair] for Great Lakes, TQM [Trans-Quebec & Maritimes Pipeline] and facilities we have in the states,” Georgsen says.
Over the last 31 years, the Airdrie location has served TransCanada well, he adds. “It’s good because it has more regional access,” says Georgsen. “We still have quite a few ties with downtown [head office] and that works well for our region in being able to access our engineering and specialized guys downtown to help us out with projects and if equipment needs repair.”
Georgsen will have been with the company for 26 years come May, having spent 19 years in Hanna before relocating to Airdrie in June 2008, and he says that the company has provided many career advancement opportunities. “I started as an operator trainee and progressed through the control stream,” he says, adding that he continued to rise through the ranks and in August 2014 was promoted to pipeline manager for RMR.
“It’s been awesome to come here to Airdrie,” says Georgsen, who has three sons, the