The Ledcor Sicim Limited Partnership brings more than 120 years of pipeline experience, with a particular focus on challenging mountainous terrain. Their role for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is as contractor for pipeline construction on both Spread 3 and 4A, in the North Thompson portion of the Project. We caught up with Ledcor Sicim to learn more.

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

Ledcor has been a significant pipeline contractor since 1971 based out of Western Canada and completing projects across North America ranging in diameter from 2” to 60”. Whether it be the challenges of the Arctic, rock of the Canadian Shield, or ruggedness of the Prairies, Ledcor has achieved success in many Canadian environments and landscapes.

Founded in 1962, Sicim specializes in high pressure and large-diameter pipeline installation with ability to work in remote and mountainous areas — tackling special construction works such as steep slopes, narrow right-of-way and swampy areas. With 58 years of activity and a global footprint of 24 active branches around the world, Sicim has laid more than 13,000 km of pipelines worldwide through all types of challenging terrain and weather conditions.

The Ledcor Sicim partnership brings to bear the best of both organizations to meet the demands and expectations of this uniquely Canadian Rocky Mountain Project.

What’s your process for hiring the construction crews and related workers who will be building the Trans Mountain Expansion Project?

We’ll be looking to maximize available opportunities for Indigenous, local and regional communities. This is to be achieved via multiple different avenues and initiatives ranging from online job postings, career fairs, open houses, social media posts, and local advertising for a variety of positions. The opportunity to engage highly skilled individuals from these communities builds upon our values of delivering the Project in a sustainable and highly regarded manner.

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

Spreads 3 and 4A span approximately 201 km of 42” and 36” pipeline paralleling the existing pipeline and other infrastructure such as highways, railroads, and powerlines. Terrain includes sections of wetlands, rivers and streams, rocky and mountainous terrain, steep slopes, and numerous areas with access limitations. Spread 3 and 4A has various technical challenges, such as:

  • Steep slope sections with forward slopes in excess of 21° (38%) will require specialized techniques and equipment such as stationary and mobile winches to safely install the pipeline and support required construction activities.
  • Narrow working footprint – a reduced footprint with heavy side slopes which limit the width available for pipeline construction along a narrow corridor shared with the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, will require optimized engineering solutions for pipe installation.
  • Heavy grade and blasting — Preparation of the pipeline right of way to accommodate pipe installation requires an estimated 1.5 million cubic metres of cut volume, including in excess of an estimated 200,000 cubic metres of rock blasting.

Spread 3 and 4A is comprised of fifty-nine isolated open cut watercourse crossings that are distinguished by a least-risk biological window, which limits instream activities. This will require innovative techniques to adhere or exceed environmental standards and requirements.

Tell us about your mission statement and core company values.

Ledcor Sicim Limited Partnership is committed to building Lifetime Clients through accountability, innovation, quality, and sustainability.

Clear in our convictions, we live by our values of Safety, Quality, Integrity, Sustainability, and Success with everything we do. Our ability to complete projects ethically by balancing people and the planet, creates a culture of success and accountability we are proud of. We look towards constant innovation and continuous improvement, moving forward together.

Tell us about your commitments to safety and environmental protection.

Safety and environmental protection are paramount to the success of any project. We believe that zero accidents happen through best practices and meticulous planning. Respecting the significance of the areas that we construct in; our aim is to preserve the past and build a legacy that can be enjoyed and shared by future generations.

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Past project: British Columbia