The inventor of the patented Saddle Bag WeightTM, Glen Jewell is a Metis in Region 1 of the Metis Nation of Alberta. Saddle Tech Inc. was incorporated in the Province of Alberta in August, 1999. They will customize any Saddle Bag Weight to the needs of the pipeline. The company has worked hard over the last 19 years to make a quality bag weight however, finding it difficult to compete with the competitors who appear to be unconcerned about what is placed on the pipeline and who chose to wine and dine the client. Saddle Tech Inc. is committed to innovation, integrity and accountability.
As an example, in 2012, Saddle Tech Inc. met with TransCanada in Calgary to defend their product due to bad reviews of the competitors' bag weights, in which it was reported that poor practices were being utilized in filling material on the job site. Saddle Tech Inc. convinced TransCanada that their product was an effective, safe reliable buoyancy control pipeline weight. They sell either filled bags shipped directly from their plant or empty bags ensuring they meet industry specifications.
It is hopeful that the development of a strategy with industry and aboriginal businesses seeking procurement opportunities in energy projects are acceptable bidders in contracts and that promises do not fall on deaf ears.
Saddle Tech Inc. has always adhered to strict Quality Control measures and this was proven with the submission of a Quality Control Manual provided to TransCanada. Other bag weight competitors rely on foreign production to supply the Canadian pipeline market. Are the parent companies of this foreign made product physically able to monitor quality control standards? Costs may be reduced by outsourcing to a foreign country; however poor customer service can suffer a loss in reputation and earnings.
Saddle Tech Inc. has a plant to dry sand for filling bag weights because it is easier to work with, as it does not freeze. The sand filled bag will also conform to the pipe size it is made for. Saddle Tech Inc. has been diligently working at getting a standard in place to avoid the use of abrasive material for filling bags to alleviate potential damage to the pipe. This has made it difficult for competing in the industry
Saddle Tech Inc. is a major contributor to the local economy with the employment of approximately 30-40 people in the Town of Athabasca. The company's desire is to maintain and supply Canadian made pipeline weights to the pipeline industry for buoyancy control.
These ties with industry will project a common interest in binding the communities and people together for the better whole in the province of Alberta, Canada.
TransCanada being one of the players and a leader in safe and reliable pipeline operations in the energy infrastructure has expressed that all measures will be taken to maintain this protocol of safety and reliability.
Oil and gas pipeline development is currently driven by social attitudes and demands, regulatory and industrial codes and operating environments. What the industry changes in these areas could have negative results, therefore all players need to look at improvements.
Lastly, Alberta is known as one of Canada's major industrial manufacturing centres due to the demand from the energy sector in the province. Let's recognize and provide an opportunity to Saddle Tech Inc. a manufacturing plant in the Town of Athabasca that manufactures and supplies pipeline weights for the energy sector in Alberta.