As of March 1, work on the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northeast B.C. was 85.5 per cent complete, according to information released by TC Energy.
Pipeline installation was only 51.5 per cent completed, however, in section 7 of the route, in the area southeast of Houston where the company has encountered ongoing blockades and protests by a group of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and their supporters.
A year ago, 20 armed protestors attacked a Coastal GasLink work camp near Houston, doing millions of dollars in damage and shutting work down temporarily. On March 22, 2023, five protestors were arrested after reports of violence against pipeline workers.
Construction of the 670-km natural gas pipeline from west of Dawson Creek to Kitimat employed 5,489 workers as of the end of February, including 1,241 based out of Parsnip Lodge north of Prince George.
“Coastal GasLink begins commissioning process on its Wilde Lake Compressor Station,” a statement released by the company said. “Coastal GasLink’s Wilde Lake Compressor Station has welcomed gas into the facility for the first time. As part of the extensive commissioning process, crews have and continue to check every piece of rotating equipment, every weld and every wire to ensure it has been built as designed with the safety of our workforce, the environment and the surrounding communities at the forefront. The purpose of this early introduction is to conduct further tests on site and decommission the temporary generators currently powering the facility.”
The Wilde Lake Compressor Station, located between Chetwynd and Dawson Creek near Highway 97, is the starting point of the pipeline. Once complete, the pipeline will supply natural gas to LNG Canada’s liquified natural gas terminal, under construction in Kitimat.
The project is slated to be complete this year, and pipeline installation is complete in two of eight sections of the route, and more than 95 per cent complete in two others.
“The introduction of gas at the Wilde Lake Compressor Station signifies another exciting milestone that brings us one step closer to completing this extraordinary project,” the TC Energy statement said.