June 18, 2014 7:52 pm

Optimism in the air in industry-heavy Nisku after Northern Gateway announcement

Watch above: Manufacturers specializing in energy parts, like pipes and electrical wiring, are expecting a boost in business following the Northern Gateway pipeline announcement. Eric Szeto reports.

EDMONTON – With the planned Northern Gateway pipeline taking a step forward Tuesday, developer Enbridge isn’t the only firm that stands to benefit.

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In industry-heavy Nisku, south of Edmonton, businesses are looking forward to the pipeline’s construction. Nisku houses thousands of businesses and provides work to tens of thousands of workers, serving as a manufacturing hub that supplies pipe and other products needed for oilsands projects.

Triumph Processing, a small steel processor which only employs 25 people, is expecting to significantly increase that number in the next few years. Some steel processing requires as few as three workers. While the company processes steel for a variety of purposes, oilsands production is its main focus. Triumph President Chris Albert says their automated system is more than ready for the increased demand for steel. In fact, it was made for it.

“We’ve prepared in advance for any decision that is to be made with Enbridge… Where other companies are looking for 50 or 100 people, we know we can find six or eight and we can support companies like Enbridge to help build pipelines,” says Albert.

“We’re ready right now. We’ll be ready in a year from now, two years from now. However long it takes for a decision to be made, we are to going to be here, and we are going to be ready to support that.”

Triumph expects its production to quadruple in coming years as Nisku booms.

Across town at Alegro Projects, there is an air of cautious optimism. Senior Project Manager Gord Nichol and his team fabricate a variety of pipeline projects, including the pressurized pipes needed for pipelines like Northern Gateway.

“We do pipeline work here, we do work with Enbridge,” says Nichol.

“We’re anticipating, whether directly through Enbridge or one of the subcontractors, that we will be getting a piece of that work,” he continues, referring to the Northern Gateway project.

The question now is whether it’s all just wishful thinking for the businesses of Nisku. Nichol knows that with Ottawa’s political climate and environmental issues, it will be years until Northern Gateway goes ahead, if it goes ahead at all.

With files from Eric Szeto, Global News.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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