Skip to Content
TransCanada – CSR – Safety: Employees at TransCanada’s Otter Lake Compressor Station in northern Alberta. TransCanada – CSR – Safety: Employees at TransCanada’s Otter Lake Compressor Station in northern Alberta.

GETTING IT RIGHT | Safety

Ensuring our Assets are Safe and Reliable Research and Development

Download CSR Report    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn

We have an impressive track record over the years of implementing leading- edge technologies and techniques developed through our R&D program.

Our R&D program helps us shape the future of the pipeline industry in terms of advancing safety, integrity and quality.

In the past five years, we have dedicated more than $141 million towards technology development to support an internal research program as well as joint partnerships. Our joint partnerships enable us to leverage greater funding and share results to improve safety standards across the industry.

Today, we have one of the industry’s largest research and development programs. In 2015 alone, more than $45 million was spent on R&D activities, with a focus on technology advancements in the areas of in-line inspection, cathodic protection, leak detection and coating technology.

In addition to investing in safety, we support research that benefits many areas of our business such as gas quality, flow efficiency, health, safety and environment, as well as facilities and measurement.

We also once again landed a spot on Canada’s Top 100 Corporate R&D Spenders List by Research Infosource in 2016. It’s a reflection of our unwavering commitment to continually improve industry-wide standards and our own performance in the areas of safety and environment.

Case Study: Collaborating on Pipeline Safety - In Action

Watch the video on the ELDER facility.

Since 2014, engineers from TransCanada, Enbridge and Kinder Morgan have together tested the latest cable-based technologies to identify optimal methods of detecting leaks on liquids pipelines at C-FER Technologies’ External Leak Detection Experimental Research (ELDER) research and testing facility in Edmonton.

For the next phase, research is being conducted on aerial-based leak detection technologies in the interest of enhancing across-the-board pipeline safety. The remarkable aerial technologies being tested at C-FER have the potential to spot leaks from the air before they’re even visible to the human eye, and could be deployed using helicopters, aircraft or even unmanned aerial vehicles (drones).


TransCanada worker inspecting a pipeline weld

Professor Adrian Gerlich was named by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) as the TransCanada Industrial Research Chair in Welding for Energy Infrastructure at the University of Waterloo in 2015. Finding thought leaders such as Gerlich to head up research projects — like the one he’s undertaking with NSERC and TransCanada in his new role — is critical to achieving state-of-the-art innovation. His enthusiasm for studying the microstructural behaviour of weld material has the potential to help shape the future for the pipeline industry in terms of advancing safety, integrity and quality.

The partnership at the University of Waterloo exemplifies one example of TransCanada’s extensive R&D program that supports research taking place across North America at major post-secondary institutions."

“Something the public might not be aware of is that this is the most focused research effort on pipeline welding nearly anywhere in the world,” Professor Gerlich adds. “I’m familiar with almost all the other major welding institutes around the world and virtually none of the other universities can claim to have even more than a couple students dedicated to welding of pipeline materials. But we’re going to have five or six at one time, which is a significantly bigger effort than most other places.” The partnership at the University of Waterloo exemplifies one example of TransCanada’s extensive R&D program that supports research taking place across North America at major post-secondary institutions.