416-Mile Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project Nears Completion

By Mary Holcomb, Digital Editor

(P&GJ) — Pipeline operator TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline project is more than 80% completed overall, and more than 77% of the construction is finished, according to the company’s December construction update.

The $11.2 billion pipeline project, which will feed natural gas to one of the biggest LNG projects in Canada’s history, remains on track to start up later this year.

First announced in 2018, the 48-inch (1,219-mm), 416-mile (670-km) pipeline will transport natural gas to the Shell PLC-led LNG Canada facility on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada's first LNG export terminal. The pipeline will be capable of moving 2.1 Bcf/d (59 MMcm/d) of natural gas with the potential for delivery of up to 5 Bcf/d (142 MMcm/d).

“To date, our team has installed nearly 490 km of pipe across the 670-kilometer route, and steady progress is made each day,” TC Energy said according to the Western Investor. “This year, we also safely and successfully completed 9 out of 10 major watercourse crossings.”

Two of the eight sections of the project—Section 1 from west of Dawson Creek to south of Chetwynd and Section 4 from north of Prince George to northwest of Vanderhoof—finished installing pipelines.

Additionally, 83.2% of the grading and 64.6% of the pipeline construction was completed on Section 3, which runs from east of McLeod Lake to north of Prince George. Parsnip Lodge, and is situated northeast of Bear Lake, serving as the home base for about 1,164 laborers.

The project's Section 7 had the least amount of progress, with only 67.6% of the grading and 32.4% of the pipeline installation complete as of the December update. Section 7 is the 77 km-long region that runs from Houston to Morice Lake and is where a work camp was attacked in February. Hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation and their supporters have also staged blockades along this route.

TC Energy said in November that cost pressures had increased the project's anticipated price from initial estimates of $6.6 billion to $11.2 billion.

In September 2022, phase 1 of LNG Canada's $40 billion export terminal construction was 70% finished, but shipping wasn't anticipated to begin for another two or three years.

“This year has been full of many milestone achievements, and it’s all thanks to the support of the Indigenous and local communities along the project route,” TC Energy said in the update. “We look forward to continuing to build this extraordinary legacy with you as we enter the final year of construction in 2023.”

To date, about 6,120 people have worked along the 670-km (416-mile) pipeline route, which runs from the Wilde Lake Compressor Station west of Dawson Creek to LNG Canada's export terminal being built in Kitimat.

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