LNG Canada photo
JFJV, the prime contractor on the LNG Canada Project site, placed its first piece of the processing plant foundation in early February 2020. Now, pile driving and other construction aspects have been slowed down due to government-mandated COVID-19 protocols for several B.C. industrial projects in early 2021.

LNG Canada photo JFJV, the prime contractor on the LNG Canada Project site, placed its first piece of the processing plant foundation in early February 2020. Now, pile driving and other construction aspects have been slowed down due to government-mandated COVID-19 protocols for several B.C. industrial projects in early 2021.

A town as quiet as a lull-aby

Kitimat has been quiet over the past month due to the government-ordered industry slow-down

Many Kitimat residents have said they’ve been enjoying the brief reprieve from the constant banging that can be heard coming from the pile driving at the LNG Canada Project site, which hasn’t been happening for the past several weeks as the provincial government has ordered major industrial projects in B.C. to reduce the pace of resuming construction after the holidays.

“A number of construction activities, including pile driving, were paused at the Kitimat site in December during the holiday break,” an LNG Canada spokesperson said. “On December 29, Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry introduced the Industrial Projects Restart Order, which applies to five major industrial projects in B.C., including LNG Canada. The order prescribes a staged return to work from the seasonal slowdown, with an incremental increase to the workforce.”

The order was applied, starting in early January, to five large industrial projects in the province, all of which are located in the Northern Health Authority region. Along with LNG Canada, it includes Coastal GasLink and their pipeline, BC Hydro Site C, Rio Tinto BC Works Kemano Generating Station, and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

The order said that the projects had to restrict the number of workers on-site to a base number defined by the province. The projects then all had to submit a restart plan to the B.C. Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, as well as to the Northern Health Chief Medical Officer and have the plan approved before they could begin increasing the number of workers on-site again.

LNG Canada will begin increasing their workforce again in the coming weeks, they confirmed.

“Our primary piling program is expected to resume in February,” the spokesperson said. “Piling at the marine terminal is planned to recommence in the coming days.”

Along with the lack of pile driving, no train noises have been heard since December, either, as the CN rail line between Terrace and Kitimat is still out due to a landslide in late November.

The landslide was in the Mink Creek/Thunderbird area, near Lakelse Lake, just south of Terrace, according to a presentation by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations at the Dec. 7 District of Kitimat Council meeting.

Approximately 550 feet of track was covered by trees, debris and clay, CN said in an earlier interview with the Terrace Standard. The line is primarily used by Rio Tinto to transport in materials and they told the Terrace Standard and Kitimat Northern Sentinel that they’ve been using trucks as a means to get materials in while the rail line is out of commission.

Rio Tinto said they were not given a timeline by CN as to how long the line will be blocked. CN did not respond to the Kitimat Northern Sentinel by deadline, either, and there is no word at this time when the line will be back in use.

— with files from Rod Link



clare.rayment@northernsentinel.com

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