The idea to build TransCanada Calibrations Ltd. (TCC) began with the need for local high-pressure, high volume natural gas meter calibration services for TransCanada Pipelines (TCPL). Prior to the construction of TCC, virtually all North American high-pressure natural gas meters had to be sent to Europe for calibration. At the same time Ultrasonic Meter Technology, enabling the development of large high volume gas meters, was rapidly evolving, but the absence of a facility capable of testing or calibrating these devices over their operational range limited their application for custody transfer measurement. TransCanada Pipelines had both a genuine need for cost effective localized meter calibration services and at the same time operated as a major transporter of significant quantities of natural gas. This combination of industry need and TCPL capacity to provide large volumes of gas prompted the development of the world’s largest volume calibration facility. The goal was simple, to provide meter calibration services for TCPL, meter manufacturers, and pipelines internationally.
TCPL Compressor Station 41, situated 15 km outside of Winnipeg (adjacent to the town of Ile Des Chenes), was selected as the site for construction of TransCanada Calibrations high-pressure test facility because of the availability of a large stable supply of high-pressure natural gas for calibration as well its natural proximity to a major center with an active international intermodal transportation hub.
The plan for TransCanada Calibrations facility was based on the core design of similar but smaller facilities that had operated successfully in Europe for many years. Construction for the facility began in May of 1999, with completion and launch of commercial services in March of 2000. TransCanada Calibrations was immediately accepted by the natural gas industry in North American, and extended its service offerings to the international marketplace in its first year of operation. TCCmaintains BIPM recognized, internationally accepted measurement traceability common with a majority of international facilities and has provided meter calibration services to customers on every continent. TCC is the representative laboratory for Canada for international flow measurement inter-comparison as well as being accredited by Measurement Canada to seal custody transfer meters on behalf of the government.
Once the high-pressure calibration lab was operational, TransCanada Calibrations developed companion services in response to the needs expressed by its meter calibration customers. Initially TCC offered calibration of pressure and temperature devices through its primary standards laboratory. Later TCC offered customers combined transportation and customs management support in addition to meter calibration. Greater than half of TCC customers now utilize this simplified cost effective service. As Ultrasonic measurement technology grew and developed, TCC worked with meter manufacturers to offer turn-key on-site repair and support for customer meters; fast-tracking and simplifying meter repair services. TCC further expanded its meter repair capability to include mechanical turbine and rotary metering devices and installed an atmospheric meter laboratory to prove these devices. TCC inventories key parts and components for most major brands of ultrasonic and mechanical gas metering devices.
Gas measurement and technology is dynamic and continually evolving. TransCanada Calibrations is committed to working with manufacturers and customers to offer quality customer relevant services.
TCC first began commercial operation in March of 2000. We will be celebrating our 20th anniversary next year. Stay tuned! .....