TransCanada inks labor agreements for Keystone XL Pipeline project, expects to create 13,000 US jobs

Source: TransCanada Corporation

TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) announced a Project Labor Agreement for a significant portion of U.S. construction of the proposed US$7 billion Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion Pipeline Project (Keystone XL). The agreement will provide TransCanada with a capable, well-trained and ready workforce in the U.S. to construct Keystone XL. During construction, the project is expected to create over 7 million hours of labor and over 13,000 new jobs for American workers. 

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The Project Labor Agreement is with the Laborers International Union of North America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, AFL-CIO, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Pipeline Contractors Association. 

"The proposed Keystone XL pipeline will have a significant impact on the North American economy through the thousands of manufacturing and construction jobs it is creating," says Russ Girling, TransCanada president and chief executive officer. "This project is entirely paid for with private sector dollars and is shovel ready." 

The Keystone expansion project is a planned 1,959-mile (3,134-kilometre), 36-inch crude oil pipeline stretching from Hardisty, Alberta and moving southeast through Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. It will link up with a portion of the Keystone Pipeline that will be built through Kansas to Cushing, Oklahoma and facilitate take away capacity from U.S. hubs located on the pipeline. The pipeline will then continue on through Oklahoma to a delivery point near existing terminals in Nederland, Texas to serve the Port Arthur, Texas marketplace.

"It's our job to weld sections of Keystone Pipeline that will extend miles underground, across several states and transport hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil daily for decades to come," said William Hite, General President of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, AFL-CIO. "It's the vision and competence of TransCanada in the U.S. that provides our skilled local workforce with the means to perform the trade they have been taught while contributing to their communities. We are proud to be a part of the collaboration that is Keystone Pipeline." 

"An ambitious project of this scope, spanning over five states and employing thousands of American construction workers, will unequivocally help remedy the struggles of our country's working families," said International Union of Operating Engineers General President Vincent J. Giblin. "History has proven time and time again that infrastructure projects, such as this, lead to the resurgence of our nation's economy and the ripple effects are far-reaching. The IUOE is proud to be part of the Keystone XL pipeline and our operating engineers throughout the Midwest are ready to provide TransCanada with the skill, professionalism and pride this project requires." 

"This illustrates how PLAs are a win-win for employers, for working men and women and for our communities and our countries," said Terry O'Sullivan, General President of LIUNA. "The partnership between TransCanada and workers and their unions will create good family-supporting jobs, while helping business and our countries compete." 

"The Keystone Pipeline project will offer working men and women a real chance to earn a good wage and support their families in this difficult economic climate," said International Brotherhood of Teamsters James P. Hoffa. "Our country was built by the hard-working men and women of the middle class - when they prosper so does America. Investment projects like Keystone Pipeline will go a long way toward helping our country down the road to economic recovery." 

An independent study estimates that during the life of the project, the Keystone XL project is expected to stimulate:

-- More than $20 billion in new spending for the U.S. economy
-- More than 118,000 person-years of employment
-- An increase of $6.5 billion in the personal income of Americans
-- Increased gross output (product) of $9.6 billion
-- More than $585 million in state and local taxes in the states along the
pipeline route 

"This project will also play an important role in linking a secure and growing supply of Canadian crude oil with the largest refining markets in the United States, significantly improving North American energy security," added Girling. 

Project Labor Agreements were first used on the big public works projects of the 1930s including the Grand Coulee Dam, Hoover Dam, and Shasta Dam. Since then, scores of large projects, public and private, have been built across the nation using Project Labor Agreements. 

TransCanada received approval in March 2010 from the National Energy Board in Canada for the proposed Keystone expansion project. When completed, the expansion project will increase the commercial capacity of the Keystone Pipeline System from 590,000 barrels per day to approximately 1.1 million barrels per day. The US$12 billion system is 83 percent subscribed with long-term, binding contracts that include commitments of 910,000 barrels per day for an average term of approximately 18 years. 

Construction and operation of the Keystone Pipeline System will continue to meet or exceed world-class safety and environmental standards. Through this agreement, the project will be built with highly trained and capable resources in states like Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas who will ensure that the project is implemented with a clear focus on safety, quality and environmental considerations. 

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