Coastal GasLink has quietly replaced the main contractor working on one of the eight sections of its 670 kilometre natural gas pipeline from northeastern B.C. to the LNG Canada natural gas liquefaction plant now under construction in Kitimat.
The change from Macro Spiecapag Joint Venture (MSJV) to Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction (PAPC) on what’s called Section 5 from north of Vanderhoof to south of Burns Lake was not announced publicly with the only indication being contained in its October progress report when PAPC was listed as working on that section instead of MSJV.
“PAPC agreed to assume construction responsibility for Section 5 in addition to their current scope which includes pipeline construction for Sections 6 and 7. As the Coastal GasLink project continues to evolve and shift toward a focus on mainline execution, some changes were made to enable a more efficient and effective allocation of resources to meet our commitments to our customers, investors, Indigenous partners and local communities,” said TC Energy spokesperson Suzanne Wilton.
Wilton maintained that the change was made to allow MSJV to focus on Section 8, from North of Morice Lake to Kitimat, as it is “the most challenging of our eight sections given its mountainous terrain and steep slopes.”
The company has also seen change in its leadership with TC Energy EVP and President, Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines, Tracy Robinson assuming the role of President, Coastal GasLink and overall accountability for all aspects of the project including project execution, stakeholder relations and commercial management.
This change in leadership marks the second time since the project started 19 months ago, that a new Coastal Gas Link president has taken over. In February 2019, David Pfeiffer replaced Rick Gateman who was on the pipeline project for over seven years.
“None of these changes are unusual for a project of this scope and magnitude, nor are they made without careful thought and consideration,” assured Wilton.
The pipeline has been under construction for almost 19 months now, with the company aiming to start testing for natural gas transportation just over two years from now.
“In spite of the pandemic and some scheduling delays, the project achieved a number of key milestones this summer and remains on track for our planned in-service of 2023,” said Wilton.
As of October, over 3,000 workers are now in the field, working on the pipeline with five of the eight sections already being halfway through grading to prepare for the mainline pipe installation.
In section 5, that has seen the contractor change, work is being done on the expansion of the Little Rock Lake Lodge as well as grading work is underway. Section 6, which is an 85 kilometres section from south of Burns Lake to south of Houston, also is working on grubbing and grading and setting up the 7 Mile Lodge for more workers.
In section 7, the 78 kilometres portion from south of Houston to north of Morice Lake, access work is underway at the Huckleberry Lodge. Work is also being done to expand the Houston storage site.
“This is a megaproject and our teams are continuously evaluating and adjusting how it’s being delivered and we will continue to make adjustments as necessary to ensure we deliver this project safely,” said Wilton.