Enbridge Inc. says it is cutting its workforce by 650 positions due to “increasingly challenging business conditions.” The Enbridge logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. is cutting its workforce by 650 positions due to what it calls “increasingly challenging business conditions.”

Enbridge spokeswoman Gina Sutherland confirmed the cuts in an email Tuesday, adding the Calgary-based company aims to complete the job reductions by March 1.

“Persistent headwinds – including higher interest rates, economic uncertainty and the ripple effects of geopolitical developments – all contribute to increasingly challenging business conditions across many industries,” Sutherland said.

The company currently has approximately 12,000 employees, primarily in the U.S. and Canada, according to its website.

Enbridge will attempt to minimize the human impact of the cuts by looking first at reducing vacancies, contract positions and redeploying people where possible, Sutherland added.

She did not provide specifics on which business units or regions would be most affected.

Enbridge, which is set to release its fourth-quarter and full-year 2023 financial results on Feb. 9, has made a number of significant business moves in recent months.

In September, the company announced it will purchase three U.S.-based utility companies — the East Ohio Gas Company, Questar Gas Company and its related Wexpro companies, and the Public Service Company of North Carolina — from Virginia-based Dominion Energy Inc. in a US$14 billion cash-and-debt deal.

The deal, expected to close sometime this year, will double the scale of Enbridge’s gas utility business, making it the largest by volume in North America with a combined rate base of over $27 billion and about 7,000 employees delivering over nine billion cubic feet per day of gas to approximately seven million customers.

The company also announced in December the sale of its stakes in the Alliance pipeline and Aux Sable gas processing facility to Pembina Pipeline Corp. for $3.1 billion. It said it would use part of the proceeds to help finance the previously announced U.S. utilities purchase.

Enbridge is not the only Canadian energy company to announce significant layoffs in recent months. Suncor Energy Inc. announced last June its plan to cut 1,500 positions before the end of 2023 in an effort to reduce costs and improve the company’s financial performance.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ENB)

Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press

News from © The Canadian Press, 2023. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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