Over the next few months, we will be profiling our four prime contractors. This month we are profiling Surerus Murphy, a joint venture headquartered in Fort St. John, BC, and Calgary, made up of two companies with over 100 years of pipeline construction expertise.
In 2018, Coastal GasLink selected Surerus Murphy Joint Venture to construct segments 1 and 2 of the 670-kilometre project. In selecting our prime contractors, we sought out highly qualified companies that met our core principles for safety, environmental stewardship and stakeholder engagement.
We caught up with Sean Surerus, President of Surerus Pipeline Inc., last month and asked him a few questions about his role with the Coastal GasLink Project.
Can you provide us a little bit of background on your company?
Surerus Pipeline was founded in 1969 by my father in Fort St. John, where I grew up and remains the home base for the business today. The company started with one dump truck and in 1972 my father had an opportunity to build a small pipeline which led to 47 years and counting of pipeline construction.
In 2014, we were approached by several international contractors to participate in this project, and eventually developed a joint venture agreement with J. Murphy & Sons out of the United Kingdom. Surerus Murphy Joint Venture was developed to focus on large diameter pipeline projects, including the Coastal GasLink Project.
What experience does Surerus Murphy have with similar projects?
We have extensive experience working on similar projects around BC and western Canada. For example, we’re currently working on TC Energy’s North Montney Mainline Project, which has about 600 people working and in 2018 we completed two sections of the Fox Creek to Namao project, which employed more than 1,200 workers.
The Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline is definitely a larger project, but the real challenge is the terrain. As an experienced joint venture executing projects across a range of geographies and terrains, this project is very exciting.
Tell us a bit about your approach to safety and environmental protection?
We can’t work without our employees, so their safety is of the utmost importance to us. We are committed to developing our people into leaders in safety, and it is essential that we create a work environment where everyone is able to go home to his or her families at the end of each workday.
With respect to the environment,the land around our project site is critically important to our people as well as our many partners from the local Indigenous communities along the project route. They are the natural caretakers of the land and we recognize that we are their guests and that we are responsible for respecting their traditions and the environment.
What is your hiring policy and how are you including the local workforce?
In our experience, when we work with local businesses and workers, our projects are more successful. The insight of our local subcontractors and Indigenous partners allows us to deliver a more effective project.
Where we came from, working local has always been a key component of our approach to delivering projects, so, whether we’re in Fort St. John, Prince George or any other small town in western Canada, we want to be part of that community and help local communities for the long term.
What excites you about being involved in Coastal GasLink project?
For us, to be part of something in our own backyard is incredible. It says a lot for what BC has to offer, and that businesses from smaller communities are able to deliver a world-class project. We’re very proud to be from Fort St. John and to be a part of this exciting project.
To learn more about employment opportunities for Coastal GasLink, check out our local contracting and employment page.
To learn more about opportunities with Surerus Murphy on the project, please visit surerus-murphy.com/current-opportunities.