Canadian Prosperity Pipelines Corporation, which recently announced its plans for a new transcontinental oil pipeline from Hardisty, Alta. to Saint John, N.B., suffered a major setback with the death of its founder, president and CEO Duane Lauritsen on Nov. 5.
He is believed to have suffered a heart attack in his hotel while on business for the project in Calgary. He had given the final presentation of the day at the National Coalition of Chiefs convention on Nov. 4.
Lauritsen’s bio describes him as a Canadian Federalist “who believes that a strong and united Canadian Confederation is the key to Canadian prosperity, both within Canada’s borders, and on the world stage.”
A statement on the company’s website says Lauritsen “was in Calgary, doing what he loved: sharing his dream of empowerment and prosperity for Indigenous Peoples throughout Canada. We know that he was truly honoured to have been invited to Treaty 7 Territory to share with the National Coalition of Chiefs.
“In his pursuit for a truly united and prosperous Canada, he created a legacy. We believe that his legacy will be realized, not only by CP3, but through all those he encountered who share his vision and his passion for this country.”
Doug MacLellan has taken over as interim president and CEO.
He will lead through critical near-term milestones to significantly de-risk the CP3 regulatory path and materially advance pre-FEED design, which will continue to demonstrate project value, the company said.
“We are going to continue with the vision. We are fully committed to it,” MacLellan told Pipeline News on Nov. 12.
The company is continuing efforts to reach out and build support for the project.
Eugene van den Berg, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, said on Nov. 12, “It was quite a blow.”
He said the company will keep working to establish its own identity. While CP3 is very similar to TC Energy’s defunct Energy East project, van den Berg said, “Energy East is dead. We’re the new Energy East. We need to get out from underneath Energy East’s shadow.”
He said the company will take time to regroup.
“We came to the conclusion we’re not going to stop this project because one person passed on,” he said, adding the company has received “support from the entire industry.”
Lauritsen was 54 years old. He leaves two grown children and a fiancé.
— Pipeline News, JWN