Kinder Morgan Canada Limited has selected or signed memorandums of understanding with eight experienced contractors who will lead construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP).

The work is distributed among several spreads, or sections, along the route between Edmonton, Alberta and Burnaby, BC. We recently connected with Surerus Murphy Joint Venture (SMJV), the contractor for Spread 5A, the British Columbia portion of the TMEP right-of-way from Black Pines to the Coquihalla Summit.

You’re the contractor for Spread 5A. What’s your process for hiring the construction crews and related workers who will be building the Trans Mountain Expansion Project?

Surerus Murphy Joint Venture (SMJV) will be looking to actively recruit locally for a variety of positions with a focus on maximizing opportunities within Aboriginal, local and regional communities. Recruitment initiatives will include job postings directly on our website, open houses, hiring fairs, external postings via local advertising media and the use of employment agencies.

Tell us a bit about your company history and involvement with pipeline construction.

SMJV came into being in 2015 when Surerus Pipeline Inc. and J. Murphy & Sons entered into a formal agreement to pursue and complete large pipeline projects in Canada. Surerus Pipeline Inc. was established in 1969 in Fort St. John, British Columbia by Brian Surerus when he traded in a pickup for a dump truck and has been installing pipelines throughout western Canada since 1971.

John Murphy founded J. Murphy & Sons in London, England in 1951 to participate in the post-war rebuilding of the city and evolved into the largest pipeline contractor in the UK.

Both companies have a history of successfully delivering large pipeline projects in challenging conditions — and the strong family business heritage has been a key component in the growth of the joint venture.

Describe the actual work you will carry out.

SMJV has been contracted to perform work on Spread 5A, which is from Black Pines, BC (approximately 40 km north of Kamloops) to the Coquihalla Summit. The new pipeline construction includes the installation of approximately 180 kilometres of 36-inch pipeline and 18 valve assembly installations.

Do you have any particular engineering challenges that are unique or will require innovative solutions?

Spread 5A will be built in close proximity to existing infrastructure such as telecoms, water, sewer and other pipelines. The terrain includes rocky and mountainous sections, steep slopes and areas with restricted access. The spread has a significant amount of rock requiring ripping, rock saw work and blasting where more conventional excavation methods would be ineffective. We will minimize disruption and impacts to the environment and to transportation networks through the use of trenchless construction methods — safely crossing underneath railways, highways and major roads. About 35 trenchless crossings will take place across highways and railway sections. In addition, this portion of the work includes horizontal directional drill for underground crossings of the Thompson River, Coldwater River and Nicola River. SMJV will use its suite of engineering and environmental solutions to execute and overcome these construction challenges.

Tell us about your mission statement and core company values?

SMJV is committed to being the contractor of choice for both our people and our clients by delivering safe and quality work. This commitment is underpinned by our shared values: “Never Harm. Trust. Integrity and Assured Delivery.” By challenging our people to live by our values, we continue our evolution as the contractor of choice while ensuring our projects are delivered in a manner that is respectful to our people, our clients, the environment and the communities we work in.

Tell us about your commitments to safety and environmental protection.

Our commitments to worker and public safety and environmental protection are fundamental to our core values. Our dedication to the health and well-being of our workers is an integral part of everyone's job and we are committed to the highest standards of safety performance.

Protecting the environment begins with all SMJV employees acting as stewards in rigorously applying the highest standards in environmental performance. We hold each employee and subcontractor accountable for its protection so that together, we will continue to be the industry leader in environmental excellence.