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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Canadian Petroleum Heritage
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TransCanada Pipelines Ltd.

TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. was founded in 1951 with its headquarters in Toronto. The focus of the company was to export Alberta’s natural gas to the United States, bringing about an expansion of the overall industry. By 1957, the goal was realized as natural gas was sent through the pipeline to the east. The following year, the company finished construction on the Canadian Mainline as a major extension to existing gas pipelines. Subsequent expansions through the 1960s and 1970s led to new markets opening up all over North America for TransCanada. The 1980s proved to be a decade of immense growth with the development of the Quebec and US pipelines. The company also created Western Gas Marketing Limited to market gas to Rhode Island and Ontario. With most of TransCanada’s operations in Alberta, the company’s head office was relocated to Calgary in 1990.

The largest merger ever taken by Canadian energy companies occurred in 1998 when TransCanada and NOVA Corporation joined together. NOVA’s operations were taken over by TransCanada except their Chemical Branch, which remained a separate company. Currently, TransCanada is focused on reviving the Alaska Highway Pipeline Project to provide the shipment of gas in northern Alaska to markets in the lower states. Its subsidiary, Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd., had been working on the Alaska Highway Pipeline Project since 1976. Gas prices halted the project, however. Before the project can start, agreements must be in place with the natural gas shippers and community consultations held. Another TransCanada project is with Imperial Oil Resources on the Mackenzie Valley pipeline. TransCanada is providing funding for the Aboriginal Pipeline Group (APG) for the project definition phase of the Mackenzie Gas Project.

TransCanada currently has 41,000 kilometres (25,600 miles) of pipeline, transporting the majority of western Canada's natural gas. TransCanada also has other energy sector operations in the US to generate electricity from hydro, simple cycle, combined cycle, and natural gas-fired plants. In Canada they operate natural gas, cogeneration, and waste byproducts plants. TransCanada trades under the symbol of TRP on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.


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