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Jan 13 2021

Collaboration and camaraderie deliver on safety

Posted by TC Energy


**Note this photo was taken before COVID-19 restrictions were in place

North Montney Mayhem, the softball team formed out of TC Energy and SMJV workers.

Learn how the North Montney Mainline team achieved an incredible safety milestone

The North Montney Mainline Project (NMML) is a 42-inch pipeline that delivers natural gas from one of the richest resources in Canada to markets across North America. This extension is a critical piece of infrastructure that will provide value to our shareholders for decades to come, but it’s the way the project team delivered it that sets it apart.

“When I think about what went right on this project, what distinguishes it as truly successful, it’s the culture of collaboration that was obvious right from the beginning,” says Paul Godley, Director, Canada Gas Pipeline Implementation. “I’ve never seen such a strong commitment to safety and collaboration between owner and contractor.”

Over the last three years of construction, our TC Energy teams worked in tandem with our contractor Surerus Murphy Joint Venture (SMJV) to overcome significant obstacles:

  • 206 km (128 mi) of rugged terrain and river crossings
  • Steep slope access for the workers and equipment
  • A mile-long Horizontal Directional Drill underneath the Peace River
  • Access through culturally significant lands
  • During the construction on the Kahta section, COVID-19 began its sweep across the globe

Zero is real

We say zero is real all the time. We know it’s true because of projects like NMML.


The TC Energy and contracting team worked together like a single unit, finding win/win solutions every day.

Mission accomplished

Since 2011, TC Energy has been seeking a path to the North Montney. Great work, NMML Team!

To face these challenges, employees of TC Energy and SMJV worked as a single unit, focusing on finding long term solutions, and adjusting processes where necessary.

“One of our tenets of safety is that we want to always be learning from each other and to apply those lessons. It’s not just internally; it applies to work with our contractor too,” says Paul. “When every individual on site feels safe in pointing out hazards, stopping work, and knowing their recommendations will be taken seriously, we call that psychological safety. This project was characterized by that open communication.”

Though it’s the process we want to reinforce and repeat, it’s worth mentioning this approach led to some staggering results.

The project went two million hours without a lost time incident,” says Paul. “That’s more than two hundred years’ worth of working hours without an LTI. It is an amazing accomplishment only achieved by believing zero is real every day.”

Paul Godley
TC Energy, Director, Canada Gas Pipeline Implementation

Camaraderie at work and at play

“This is really a story about teamwork and trust,” says Dale Madsen, Project Manager. “I simply can’t say enough about the leadership in the field from TC’s Dean Kilgour in NGTL and SMJV’s Paul Kelly. They have immense technical knowledge, and an abiding commitment to safety. Because of that, the TC and SMJV field teams had complete respect for their guidance, and they worked as one team.”

“We’ll have been together as a team for three years as we wrap up on the Kahta section,” says Dale. “Leadership was never called upon to arbitrate between different approaches to safety and procedures. It speaks to incredible problem solving and collaboration in the field.”

Another telling indicator of how well the team gelled is the formation of a softball team, The North Montney Mayhem.

“Delays in construction and site access forced us to work straight through the holidays for a couple of years, but the adversity pulled us together as a team,” says Dale. “We got along so well on the project that some of the workers from TC Energy and SMJV got together and formed a softball team: The North Montney Mayhem. Turns out, we’re pretty terrible ball players, but we sure had a good time, and it was great for morale.”

While the North Montney Mayhem may not have churned out many double plays and extra base hits, they were exceptional at safely laying pipeline in challenging circumstances. Through admirable collaboration and a daily commitment to zero incidents, this team has added a valuable piece of infrastructure to our portfolio, and the mainline is currently reliably deliver the rich resources of the North Montney region.

The NMML extension exemplified our values of safety and collaboration and contributes to our credibility as a reliable and sustainable provider of energy across the continent.

Well done, NMML team!