The operator of the trans-Alaska pipeline is planning to reduce its workforce by roughly 10 percent, according to a letter from its leadership to lawmakers.

In a Tuesday letter to Gov. Bill Walker and state commissioners, as well as members of the state Legislature, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. President Thomas Barrett says the drawdown is the result of a study on how the company can remain “technically and economically viable” for another 40 years.

“The overall size of the TAPS workforce will shrink by roughly 10 percent,” Barrett wrote. “Many jobs will be modified, and some eliminated, at Alyeska and in some contractor companies. This will have negative impacts for some individuals and create new opportunities for others. It will affect personnel at all levels of the organization, and at Anchorage, Fairbanks, Valdez and field locations.”

Initiatives under the restructuring will include simplifying maintenance processes, improving and strengthening technical controls and centralizing emergency planning and response functions.

“Directly or indirectly, Alyeska spends the majority of its time, energy and resources on maintenance-related activities,” Barrett wrote. “Yet we are organized and operate more like a construction company, which is sub-optimal for the future.”

The restructuring will place APSC under three divisions devoted to operations and maintenance, engineering and risk, and the office of its chief financial officer. A leadership team for those changes has already been put into place.

“APSC will be a functionally aligned organization, with system directors consolidated in Anchorage,” Barrett wrote. “Decision authority will be clarified with more authority delegated to managers in the field regarding activities for which they are responsible.”

APSC spokeswoman Michelle Egan said the drawdown will affect about 10 percent of Alyeska’s 1,300 staff. About 775 employees are directly employed by the company, and the rest are contractors.

“As the new strategy is detailed out in the coming weeks and months, we will keep employees informed,” Egan wrote. “Some positions will be modified, new positions will be created and some positions will be eliminated. The modernization of our processes and our organization will require some new skill sets. Of course, some changes will naturally come from attrition and retirement.”

Employees should be informed by November of any changes affecting them, which are set to take effect next year.

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