In the summer of 2010, TransCanada broadened its asset base to include a highly significant entrance into the oil transportation business with the start of commercial operations of the 3,467 km Keystone Oil Pipeline from Alberta to refineries in the United States in July 2010.
Mr Girling says “This area of our business is expected to grow substantially with the development of our proposed Keystone XL and Gulf Coast Project pipelines that will enhance North America’s energy security by providing a safe and reliable source of crude oil for American refinery markets.
“The planned expansion of our Keystone system will make us a leader in transporting Canadian and US growing oil production in the coming decades. Our expanded Keystone system is expected to move approximately one-third of total Canadian oil exported to the US, or
10 per cent of total US imports, by 2025.”
In addition to its oil and gas business, TransCanada owns or has interests in approximately 10,900 megawatts (MW) of power (electricity) generation from 20 facilities in Canada and US through its energy business. This equates to enough power to meet the needs of nearly 11 million homes. The company is Canada’s largest private sector power generator and approximately one-third of the power generated comes from alternative and renewable sources (nuclear, wind, hydro and solar).
Continually improving business
TransCanada continually looks for ways to improve its business and reduce its environmental impact.
Mr Girling says “In our power business, for example, we use highly efficient cogeneration technology whenever possible, and strive to reduce energy consumption. In 2010 we spent more than $CDN6 million (approximately $US5.9 million) on technological research and development to reduce environmental impacts.”
One programme involves the testing of a supersonic injector that captures methane emissions from dry gas seals. This captured gas is used to power turbines that drive gas through the pipeline. This builds on previous dry gas seal technology pioneered by TransCanada that improved the efficiency of the seal, reducing gas leaks and eliminating oil and grease spills.
“We have been recognised for these efforts. For the tenth year in a row, TransCanada was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a global index that tracks the performance of the leading sustainability driven companies. We are also listed among Canada’s 50 best corporate citizens by Corporate Knights magazine,” Mr Girling says.