Work camps nearing readiness for pipeline crews

Coastal GasLink construction to intensify beginning next year

Preparations to fully open two local camps to house workers on the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline project are intensifying, the closer actual placing of pipe into the ground comes.

7 Mile Lodge south of Burns Lake and the Huckleberry Lodge south of Houston will each house hundreds of workers for construction which is scheduled to ramp up this year and next.

“7 Mile Lodge is in its final stages of accommodation setup and we expect the lodge to be fully complete within the next two to four weeks,” said Natasha Westover from Coastal GasLink last week.

“From there, we will operate and maintain it as required during the course of pipeline construction with full occupancy expected beginning this fall through to the first quarter of 2021.”

There are now approximately 200 people at the site and peak occupancy will be approximately 600 people by later this year and into 2021.

Meanwhile, pad and site preparation for accommodation structures at the Huckleberry Lodge continues along with building access roads.

“We anticipate peak occupancy at Huckleberry to be approximately 800 with the lodge being opened in phases,” said Westover.

“Initially 150 people will be onsite in order to help with preparatory works such as clearing. As grading and pipe installation begins, lodge capacity will expand to meet peak occupancy requirements.”

As of this month, nearly all of the 85 kilometres of the pipeline route, called Section 6, south of Burns Lake has been cleared while the work on Section 7, 78 kilometres south of Houston is to start.

The 48-inch diameter pipe for both sections is being moved from storage sites to where it will be placed underground.

There’s also more work going on at the Houston pipe storage yard, one of the major storage locations along the 670-kilometre long pipeline route, to expand the site within its permitted footprint.

Section 6 pipe will be moved this year from a smaller storage location on Hwy35 near the 7 Mile Lodge or from the Houston location next year to the right of way. Pipe installation for Section 7 is planned for the first half of next year.

Once trenching is complete, crews will then lay pipe along the edge of the trench, a process called “stringing”.

Pipe will then be bent to match the route and contour of the land and individual lengths welded together and the welds then checked and an anti-corrosion material applied before the sections are lowered into the ground and covered up.

In all, there are eight sections to the Coastal GasLink pipeline with four main contractors each having two sections to build.

The in-service date for the pipeline is set for 2023 with the LNG Canada liquefied natural gas plant at Kitimat set to be operational in 2025.

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Lengths of pipe for Coastal GasLink’s natural gas pipeline are now in a storage yard adjacent to Hwy35 south of Burns Lake. (Coastal GasLink photo)

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