The Coastal GasLink Pipeline project involves the construction and operation of an approximately 670-km natural gas pipeline from near Dawson Creek to near Kitimat. (TransCanada image)

The Coastal GasLink Pipeline project involves the construction and operation of an approximately 670-km natural gas pipeline from near Dawson Creek to near Kitimat. (TransCanada image)

Pipeline company searches for camp sites

Wants to make sure final choice receives approval

TransCanada is reviewing nine sites near Burns Lake for a work camp for its Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline that would be built should the LNG Canada gas liquefication plant near Kitimat be constructed.

But it won’t be releasing locations until it decides on the most promising ones.

“We don’t want to create false expectationis for sites that are definitely not in the running,” said Kiel Giddens, a Prince George-based TransCanada official.

The company had earlier settled on one location near Tchesinkut Lake and had signed a lease for the property but then abandoned that plan after opposition from the neighbours.

Topping the list of concerns was the potential for water pollution and drainage issues with increased traffic on Hwy35 between Burns Lake and Tchesinkut Lake also identified as a problem.

TransCanada and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako hosted an open house in May to gather comments and opinions about the plan from members of the public.

“Coastal GasLink’s next step is to discuss the feasibility of some of these sites with the regional district and the Village of Burns Lake to ensure their comments are considered,” said Giddens of TransCanada’s new plan.

“We want to choose a location that takes public feedback into account, and will discuss the need for a future open house with these local governments.”

The Coastal GasLink pipeline would start in northeastern B.C. and then run approximately 670km to Kitimat, passing south of Burns Lake for part of that route.

Giddens said 14 construction camps of various sizes and for various lengths of time will be needed along the pipeline route.

“Where necessary, we apply to local governments for temporary use permits, or to the BC Oil & Gas Commission, and we are currently working to have our camp plans in place for construction should LNG Canada choose to make a positive final investment decision,” she said.

There had been some early on friction between TransCanada and the regional district when the company said it didn’t want to apply for required permits until contractors had been hired to build and operate the facility, something that would be triggered by LNG Canada deciding to build its Kitimat plant.

Regional district officials however said that would not give them enough time to evaluate the camp location and associated impacts.

The company responded by providing more information, a move that prompted the open house on the part of TransCanada and the regional district to gather public opinion and response.

Some residents who attended the open house suggested that areas closer to the proposed pipeline’s thoroughfare would be better suited for the camp, notably the 700 Forest Service Road and Six Mile Pit Forest Service Road.

An area behind the Lakeview Mall was on an earlier camp location list but discarded because the site was too small.

While TransCanada looks for a camp location, it is also looking for qualified companies to provide the myriad of services and goods needed to support the contractors who would be digging the trenches and laying the pipe.

That support need ranges from road construction services to camp services to aircraft support to site security.

TransCanada has emphasized business relationships with First Nations enterprises in its search for support services.

LNG Canada has indicated it will make a final construction decision this year and speculation has been growing ever since.

That speculation increased this month when Petronas, the Malaysian company that wanted to build its own LNG plant on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert before cancelling that project last year, bought a 25 per cent stake in the LNG Canada project.