May, 2000

Summit Award Winners

THE APEGGA Centennial
Leadership Award

John Lagadin, P.Eng.

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, ON, John Lagadin graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1962 with a B.Sc. in geological engineering.

He joined Twin City Gas Co. Ltd. in Thunder Bay as a regional engineer. In 1967, he became associated with Twin City’s parent company, Northern and Central Gas Co. where, over 11 years, he held various engineering responsibilities culminating with his appointment as chief engineer in 1970.

In 1978, Mr. Lagadin moved to Sherwood Park, AB, as vice-president and general manager for ICG Engineering Ltd., a subsidiary of ICG Utilities Ltd. During six years with ICG, Mr. Lagadin built the business from a staff of four to more than 100, focused primarily on developing new natural gas distributions systems in unserviced areas of Canada.

In 1984, he began his own business centered on natural gas marketing and predicated on deregulation of natural gas marketing in Canada. In 1985, with a consortium of 11 producers, he founded Direct Energy Marketing Limited, which, by 1996, was the country’s largest independent natural gas marketing company.

In 1994, Mr. Lagadin and his Direct Energy team launched Energy Exchange Inc., (now Altra Energy Technologies) the first company to provide the natural gas industry a commodity-styled electronic exchange for purchase and sale of natural gas in North America.

Mr. Lagadin and his Direct Energy team began the conceptualization of a competitive new grass-roots pipeline project to help solve the problem of limited Alberta export capacity and the resultant chronic low well-head prices for natural gas. As a result of this work, a patented high-pressure mixed gas pipeline technology was developed. It led to higher specific gravity gas mixtures and a significant reduction in pipeline size and the horsepower required to ship the energy.

Mr. Lagadin and his colleagues formed an organization of producers to advance the business case. These efforts resulted in the formation of the Alliance Pipeline. In 1998, the National Energy Board granted Alliance a permit to construct the pipeline. Built at a cost of $5.5 billion, the Alliance pipeline stretches 3,080 kilometres from northern British Columbia to a world-scale separation and fractionation facility in Chicago.




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