by Tina Olivero


    Not everyone can say that they had an intimate encounter with over $10 Billion worth of industrial opportunities in one week, but the people who attended the Placentia Bay Industrial Showcase last week sure can!

    The Placentia Chamber of Commerce’s annual conference and trade show event was MC’d by Ray Greene who facilitated the success of the Placentia Bay Industrial Showcase (PBIS 2019) which took place September 17-19 at Unity Parc Arena. I have to say, in 28 years of tradeshows and conferences around the globe, the quality of business leads here was one of the best!

    Premier Dwight Ball opened the conference and trade show which paved the way for a long list of projects and opportunities to come. Among the highlights was a Business Excellence Awards dinner celebrating the accomplishments of local companies, and the grand prize draw at the exhibition was a trip for two to Toronto to see “Come From Away” with accommodation and flights provided. This tied perfectly into the final luncheon speech given by former Mayor of Appleton recounting the events of his life since Come From Away became a global phenomenon. AMAZING!

    Gerry Sullivan, Director, Operations & Marketing – Aqua Sol Enterprises Inc.

    This intimate trade show and conference ensured that contacts were personal, projects were prosperous and networking happened at it’s highest possible level. The organizers of the Placentia Bay Industrial Showcase were creative with their approach making sure that speakers were super engaging and projects profiled were world-class and quite frankly, mind-blowing.  

    Chamber President, Karen Maher, stated, “We were pleased to welcome all participants to PBIS 2019, with its theme, Capture the Momentum. We are at a turning point in our region. We see the potential for the Placentia Bay area as being limitless, and this event certainly fuelled the momentum we are building in oil and gas, aquaculture, mining, tourism, entrepreneurialism, and research and development.”

    Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, Canada


    Placentia Chamber of Commerce – Karen Maher, President
    Office of the Premier – Dwight Ball – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
    Port of Argentia – Chris Newhook, Ray Greene & Marion King
    West White Rose – Sandy Nairn – VP Project Delivery
    NOIA – Newfoundland Oil Industry Association – Charlene Johnson, CEO
    Canada’s Ocean Supercluster – Kendra McDonald, CEO
    Trades NL – Cory Parsons, Mgr. Communications & External Affairs
    TMSI – Commercial Marine Cargo – Yvon Dufour
    SDP Partnership – Executing WWR – Michel Girard
    Fortis Inc – Nora Duke, Exec. VP Corporate Services & Chief HRO
    Government of Canada – Senator Fabian Manning
    Greig NL Seafarms – Salmon hatchery – Perry Power, HR Mgr.
    Canada Fluorspar NL Inc. – Catherine Rowsell, HR Mgr.
    Aqua Sol Constructors – Gerry Sullivan – Director of Operations & Marketing
    AS Works – Dr Armin Strobel
    CNA – Dr. Mike Long – Chair Office of Applied Research & Innovation
    Argentia Gold: Marijuana Facility – Steve McNeill

    Perry Power, Human Resources Manager at Greig NL Seafarms Ltd.


    Senator Fabian Manning addressed the attendees of PBIS in an early morning breakfast session. This man should have his own comedy show. He’s quite a character. Listen to Fabian’s 19-minute talk about life growing up in Newfoundland and his life in politics. It is HILARIOUS! Enjoy!

    Senator Fabian Manning. He will make you laugh and cry!

    After the show, attendees were drunk with opportunity because when you add up the dollar value of the projects happening in and around Placentia, Argentia, and Marystown, over the next few years it is positively overflowing! There is over $10 billion in opportunities in sectors from; the West White Rose project, salmon aquaculture, container shipping, Fluorspar mining and more. 

    Oil and gas takeaways include the West White Rose project update, the oil opportunities ahead and the generous wisdom of Sandy Nairn, VP of project delivery for Husky Energy West White Rose project.

    West White Rose Project – Schematic Rendering Source: Husky Energy


    Husky Energy was gracious enough to give participants of the Placentia Bay Industrial Showcase a guided coach tour of the West White Rose Concrete Gravity Structure (CGS) being constructed at the Port of Argentia. It’s a world-class project and will be a massive contribution to our offshore energy sector and province for decades to come. In the coming weeks, there will be 800 employees working on-site and at peak times that number will increase to 2000.

    This soon-to-be island in the ocean will also create prosperity in the form of royalties, revenues, jobs, and contracts. Expenditures of $3 Billion in construction and production combined equal a total expenditure of an estimated $5.2 billion. Find your procurement opportunities here!

    West White Rose Concrete Gravity Structure presently
    being constructed at the Port of Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada


    Right behind the West White Rose project, for offshore Newfoundland is Equinor’s Bay du Nord project equalling over $14 Billion in estimated expenditures.

    In recent years, Equinor’s drilling discoveries in the Flemish Pass Basin also include the Bay de Verde and Baccalieu prospects in the Bay du Nord area. Both of which add to the resource base for potential development at the Bay du Nord discovery area. As with most projects we see offshore, the initial discovery leads into other fields and extensions in the same area. 

    Over the next 25 years, the province will receive a whopping $100 Billion + in royalties and revenue from the offshore oil and gas industry. Impressive! And the number of oil and gas jobs in the province will DOUBLE to approximately 56,000 people in that same time frame.

    All of that activity plus new oil finds to come, mean that wages and consumer sending will more than DOUBLE and 15,000 new housing units will come into play by 2045.  

    From a visionary perspective, if the province were majority shareholders in our oil projects, we would be all set. We could rival that of the North Sea and other regions that have the largest investment portfolios on the planet, as a result of oil and gas. Think Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, and Norway. That’s the potential we have.

    In order to actualize on that future, we need to drill more and focus on project ownership. It has to be a Canadian mindset and mandate as well as a provincial one. The smartest politicians will see that possibility and will invest in the time needed to make it happen. Petroleum is the biggest game that Canada has in its resource nest egg and utilizing fossil fuels to bring in renewable energy, is the way to advance and prosper simultaneously!

    The West White Rose CGS with three quadrant slip forms completed.


    The WWR project is a high-tech, world-class mega-project and it is designed to endure severe offshore Newfoundland weather and water conditions. Its lifetime will span decades in the Atlantic Ocean, 160 meters offshore.

    The concrete gravity structure (CGS) has people building it at the Argentia site, working 24/7 around the clock, in all weather conditions to meet timelines and targets. 

    To date, the concrete for the CGS has been poured in three of the four quadrants and the final quadrant will be finished before the end of the year, putting it ahead of schedule.

    With 6 million man-hours already completed on the project, the results are a testament to the healthy foundation that workers on-site bring to the project each day. 

    You only need to get up-close and personal with this project to realize it is a phenomenal feat. Taking in its magnitude and beauty you realize this soon-to-be island in the sea is created by some of the greatest minds on earth.


    Sandy is the most likeable guy. I think it’s because he’s got such a wholistic healthy view of the world and what it takes to succeed within it. 

    Sandy Nairn
    VP Project Delivery for West White Rose

    Starting his career in architecture Sandy realized the lucrative opportunities in the North Sea oil business and he promptly switched his profession thereafter.

    Sandy’s work acumen and performance philosophies grew out of his time spent at the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company (CB&I) where he moved up the ranks by emulating work ethic and performance within that company. CB&I was a large engineering, procurement, and construction company with its administrative headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas. CB&I employs more than 32,000 people worldwide. Sandy said, “The Superintendents gave us the toughest jobs upfront and by the time you finish working in all of the various levels at CB&I, you learned to work as hard as any manager or CEO.”

    Perhaps that’s the key to all successful companies, is ensuring leadership at the level of each individual with the same highly focused work ethic and a laser-sharp commitment to results.

    “The longest I’ve been in one place is four years because we have a saying in the industry that the project you worked on last was great, the project you are on now is good, but the project you are going to, is the best of all. So with that philosophy in mind, I was always excited to move onto different projects around the globe in places like Australia, London, and Qatar,” Sandy stated.

    “The highlight of my career was moving to Qatar with the oil company Shell, where we developed the Pearl GTL project which had 55,000 people on site. I’m from a little town in Scotland with 15,000 people so when you are responsible for managing a village of 55,000 people, its sort of unbelievable, Sandy explained. “We built a village to house the workforce long before we started working on the project. That village had everything from cricket pitches, basketball courts, corner cafes, ATMs, to Barbour shops and more. We spend $2 billion before the project started to build that village. It was an exciting time.”


    Sandy Nairn is currently the VP of project delivery for the Husky Energy West White Rose project in Argentia, Newfoundland. His lifetime of knowledge and project management overflows as he talks about the West White Rose initiative and how a ‘wholistic’ view IS THE KEY to the success of the project. 

    As the esteemed speaker of the Placentia Bay Industrial Showcase Luncheon, Sandy had a lot of wisdom to share with participants about work teams and peak performance, “A healthy environment is a wholistic endeavour. Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality (HSEQ), is all about ‘healthy’ relationships. It’s about our healthy relationship with contractors, our healthy relationship with ourselves, our healthy relationship with each other, and our healthy relationship with our community. People are goal-oriented and they want to feel they belong to a team. Once they feel they belong to the team and the vision, then everyone is equal and everyone has an important part to play on that team, just like sports.”

    Sandy explains further, “If you get the ‘HEALTH’ right you create the foundation for everything else and the environment is then conducive to success. Once that’s established safety and the environment happen naturally and become a byproduct of wholistic healthy work culture.”

    “We’ve spent our focus on creating a healthy environment on the WWR project. Every morning before we start work we talk about the tasks of the day but we also take things to a new level by having our team participate in things like morning aerobics and stretching. We believe that fit and athletic bodies are healthy and therefore increases performance on-site,” Sandy says. “Our wholistic model has contributed to a 10-24% increase in performance compared to other projects in the region, even with the same workforce. That is the benefit of ‘health’ being the foundation of all other operations.”

    “Our philosophy is ‘ONE TEAM’. We all work together as one unit and we don’t subscribe to segregation in any way. We provide a healthy environment for our team to work within and we also empower our workforce to make the project successful. Ultimately it is up to them. We ensure that our safety results come from a very well-thought-out, wholistic plan of health and inclusion and we ensure everything else works from there,” Sandy explains.

    Sandy explains his thoughts on the West White Rose workforce, “I have to say that the Newfoundland workforce is world-class. The people here are fully engaged and open to talking about conditions and the environment. The biggest asset we have is that the workforce is so engaged and committed. I’m excited about working here for the next three years to see out the term of the project. I am very keen about projects so that’s my passion and focus.”

    When Sandy’s mother asked him what he thought of Newfoundland he said, “I told her that I may well have moved to the village next store in Scotland. They have the same sense of humour and the same sense of lifestyle. Coming here today and speaking here at the symposium, we have ladies from the community coming together and cooking for the community just like they did at this luncheon. Our little aunties would be serving tea and coffee.”

    Sandy smiles and remembers, “It feels like home!”

    SOURCES & PICTURES: Husky Energy, Placentia Chamber of Commerce, NOIA, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

    Tina Olivero

    30 years ago, Tina Olivero looked into the future and saw an opportunity to make a difference for her province and people. That difference came in the form of the oil and gas sector. Six years before there was even a drop of oil brought to the shores of Newfoundland, she founded The Oil and Gas Magazine (THE OGM) from a back room in her home on Signal Hill Road, in St. John’s, Newfoundland. A single mother, no financing, no previous journalism or oil and gas experience, she forged ahead, with a creative vision and one heck of a heaping dose of sheer determination. With her pioneering spirit, Ms. Olivero developed a magazine that would educate, inspire, motivate and entertain oil and gas readers around the world — She prides herself in marketing and promoting our province and resources in unprecedented ways. The OGM is a magazine that focuses on our projects, our people, our opportunities and ultimately becomes the bridge to new energy outcomes and a sustainable new energy world. Now diversifying into the communications realms, a natural progression from the Magazine, The OGM now offers an entirely new division - Oil & Gas Media. Today, The Oil and Gas Magazine is a global phenomenon that operates not only in Newfoundland, but also in Calgary and is read by oil and gas enthusiasts in Norway, Aberdeen, across the US and as far reaching as Abu Dhabi, in the Middle East. Believing that Energy is everyone’s business, Ms. Olivero has combined energy + culture to embrace the worlds commitment to a balance of work and home life as well as fostering a foundation for health and well being. In this era of growth and development business and lifestyle are an eloquent mix, there is no beginning or end. Partnering with over 90 oil and gas exhibitions and conferences around the world, Ms. Olivero's role as a Global Visionary is to embrace communication in a way that fosters oil and gas business and industry growth in new and creative ways.

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