Pipe for the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline is being stored at several locations, including this one in Houston (above) in preparation for installation. (Coastal GasLink photo)

Pipe for the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline is being stored at several locations, including this one in Houston (above) in preparation for installation. (Coastal GasLink photo)

Coastal GasLink pipeline work ramps up

With spring thaw ending, workers start to arrive for summer season

Coastal GasLink’s contractors are ramping up their workforces south of Houston and Burns Lake with the spring thaw now ending.

The work program is set to resume next week along the natural gas pipeline route connecting northeastern B.C.’s gas fields with the LNG Canada liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction plant now under construction in Kitimat.

Approximately 650 workers will be in the field along the length of the route by the end of May with the company’s contractors opening up and enlarging camp accommodations, the company said in a May 21 construction update.

South of Burns Lake, activity at 7 Mile Lodge includes the completion of dorms and offices.

Along the section south of Burns Lake called Section 5, there’s continued site preparation at pipe storage sites in anticipation for mainline pipe installation this summer, the company added.

As that work continues, approximately 200 workers are expected along Sections 6 and 7 south of Houston toward the end of this month and into June.

“Our main focus of work is erosion and sediment control, environmental monitoring and field survey work, workforce accommodation site establishment, right-of-way grubbing, and ancillary site development,” the company said.

As mainline pipe installation comes closer, work is to start on two camps, Huckleberry and 9A, both south of Houston, for the hundreds of workers who will need accommodation.

The latter facility, 9A, became a contentious spot in the area south of Houston late last year and into the early part of this year with Wet’suwet’en members and supporters opposed to the pipeline construction demanding workers there leave.

The site did house a small number of workers and structures were removed but that was part of the plan all along in order to adapt the location to a much larger facility.

“Over the coming four weeks, our contractors, Macro Spiecag Joint Venture and Kyah Resources (Witset) will undertake civil works in preparation for the installation of a new workforce accommodation site at that location on the existing footprint,” Coastal GasLink said.

“During this period, approximately 20 employees will undertake the civil works including the removal of mats currently onsite and the installation of gravel and drainage necessary for the construction of a new workforce accommodation site. Once these preliminary works are completed, construction of a new workforce site will commence.”

A smaller facility called P2, west of both Huckleberry and 9A is also to go into operation and there’s similar accommodation preparation work going on at Vanderhoof Lodge close to the municipal airport.

The company said work is being undertaken according to standards and guidelines emphasizing safe practices to safeguard against the COVID-19 virus among its workforce and in the surrounding communities.

The 670-kilometre long pipeline route is broken into eight construction sections with all in various stages of having their construction routes cleared with one section, Section 5, being completed cleared.

Pipe manufactured both in Asia and in Saskatchewan continues to arrive via the port at Stewart or by rail with 297 kilometres delivered to key laydown areas, including one at Houston and one north of Kitimat.

– with files from Aman Parhar.

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