TransCanada anticipates a construction start of early next year for its Coastal GasLink pipeline to pump natural gas from northeastern B.C. to the LNG Canada plant at Kitimat. (TransCanada image)

Natural gas pipeline cost soars

Coastal GasLink to carry gas from northeastern B.C. to LNG Canada plant at Kitimat

While many eyes and much of the attention has been focused on the construction of LNG Canada’s multi-billion dollar plant in Kitimat, just how the natural gas will get to the facility is a mega-project in its own right.

Originally forecast at $4.8 billion when planning first started in 2011, TransCanada’s 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline from the northeastern B.C. gas fields to Kitimat is now estimated to cost $6.2 billion, making it arguably the second largest private sector expenditure in the province’s history.

“The new $6.2 billion costs are due to inflation from 2011 to 2018 dollars, scope changes and refinement [of capital expenditures],” said TransCanada official Terry Cunha. “It includes the $470 million in pre-construction work.”

Construction of the 48-inch diameter pipeline is expected to start next year at multiple locations along the pipeline route.

READ MORE: Pipeline company calls challenger “vexatious”

“These segments will be constructed in an order that will accommodate for terrain, season and resource considerations,” said Cunha.

A number of construction camps of various sizes will be set up along the route, with a workforce needed of approximately 2,500 people in a mix of people from elsewhere and those who live in the area of the pipeline’s route.

Civeo, which specializes in work camp accommodation, has a contract to supply four camps and has signed partnership agreements with four First Nations, one for each camp.

As with the LNG Canada plant, TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink subsidiary is emphasizing local employment and, in particular, indigenous employment.

Earlier this year Coastal GasLink announced it had signed $620 million in contracts with indigenous businesses and contractors that would come into play should LNG Canada give the green light to its plant.

“The $620 million that is being awarded locally for construction activities includes the costs of camp construction and operation,” said Cunha.

There will be an “additional $400 million anticipated to both B.C. northern communities and Indigenous communities during the construction period. This will total approximately $1 billion of local spend in B.C.,” he added.

READ MORE: All 20 First Nations sign Coastal GasLink pipeline agreement

As this is a separate project from LNG Canada’s plant, TransCanada is financing the construction on its own with a payback coming from 25-year agreements signed by the companies who own the gas that will be flowing through the pipeline. hose companies are the owners of LNG Canada — Shell, Petronas, PetroChina, Mitsubishi and Kogas Canada.

TransCanada has lined up four major construction companies for the pipeline work — Surerus Murphy Joint Venture (one of the joint venture partners is a company from Fort St. John), SA Energy Group, Macro Spiecapag Joint Venture and Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction Inc.

Pipeline construction is to be divided into what are called “spreads”. The Macro Spiecapag Joint Venture is to build 177 kilometres of the pipeline with a company release estimating its contract value alone to be more than $900 million.

Completion and in-service for Coastal GasLink is pegged at the latter part of 2021.

As part of its indigenous efforts, Coastal GasLink has signed economics benefits agreements with 20 First Nations who have traditional territory along the pipeline route. The Haisla First Nation at Kitamaat was the last one to sign.

While Coastal GasLink has emphasized that the agreement are with elected First Nations governments, a clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation called the Unist’ot’en or Dark House remain opposed to the project and first set up a camp blocking a portion of the pipeline route south of Houston in 2014. In the early days of the encampment, the Unist’ot’en relied on the help of indigenous rights advocates from elsewhere in maintaining the camp, conducting a public relations campaign opposing the pipeline and warning they were about to be arrested by the RCMP.

A Coastal GasLink pipeline official said on Tuesday that the pipeline route is still being finalized.

The pipeline is also being challenged by Smithers resident Michael Sawyer who wants the project, which has environmental clearance from the provincial government, to be reviewed by the federal National Energy Board.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. When Jaime Battiste was in his early 20s, cable news channels were full of images of Mi’kmaq fishermen in New Brunswick battling federal fisheries officers over seized lobster traps. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
Nisga’a Lisims Government calls on Prime Minister to act in N.S. fisheries dispute

NLG President: “We are shocked by what’s happening in Nova Scotia”

A nurse prepares a flu shot. The public vaccine for the 2020-2021 flu season is now in pharmacies in Terrace. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
Private flu vaccines scarce at Terrace pharmacies

Public flu vaccines still available for those with greatest need

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

Ellis Ross (left), BC Liberal party, celebrated with his wife, Tracey after being named the preliminary winner of the 2020 snap provincial election.
Ross presumptive Skeena winner in snap B.C. election

Election outcome will not be official until mail-in ballots are counted

Voting has officially closed throughout B.C. for the 2020 snap provincial election. (Clare Rayment)
Map of Skeena polling stations

Watch the updates on the map below as polling stations are counted throughout Skeena riding

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Most Read