Coastal Gaslink is considering the former Houston Forest Products (HFP) site for a staging area.
It would be used temporarily for about two years during the construction of the natural gas pipeline, said Scott Reid, Coastal Gaslink Engineering Coordinator.
Reid and Kiel Giddens, Land, Community and Aboriginal Relations talked to Houston council about the project last Tuesday.
For most of 2015, Coastal Gaslink will finalize plans, hire their prime contractor, get permits and hold public information sessions.
Reid says they want to make a final investment decision in early 2016.
If things line up, they’ll build work camps in summer 2016, start clearing in August 2016 and start building the pipeline in early 2017, he said.
Asked by Councillor Tom Stringfellow about the plans for the HFP site, Reid said the site is proposed as a transfer location.
They would bring pipe in by train, offload at the HFP site and send the pipe on trucks down the Morice River Road to the pipeline route.
“Would that give local employment?” Stringfellow asked.
Reid said the prime contractor manages that, and is encouraged to use local labour as much as possible.
Coastal Gaslink has changed it’s route a lot since they first launched in June 2012.
Giddens says they initially planned to use a site in Smithers for rail access.
Houston council told them about the HFP site at a North Central Local Government Association conference last May. That’s when their plans changed to Houston.
Asked by Councillor Rick Lundrigan why they planned a Smithers site instead of Houston, Giddens said they simply didn’t know about the Houston site.
The site locations will be finalized this fall after they hire the prime contractor.