Observant Terrace residents would have noticed the arrival of a large, and up until now, unique shipment to enter the town on CN’s tracks.
Spotted at the beginning of the week, rail cars laden with tied-down 48-inch diameter pipe lengths were parked in CN’s yard, waiting for their turn to be unloaded at the Kitsumkalum transload facility just west of Terrace.
The rail cars are one of the more visible signs of progress on LNG Canada’s facility in Kitimat, carrying pipe lengths for Coastal GasLink’s project to build a 670 km long pipeline to pump natural gas from northeastern B.C. to Kitimat.
From the transload facility the pipes are being loaded onto trucks for transport to a Coastal GasLink laydown yard north of Kitimat.
However, there’s still a lot of work ahead for the company before the 48-inch diameter pipe is placed in a trench, connected and then buried – part of what company officials have described as a ‘year of intense preparation.’
While most of the pipe is being sourced from a mill in Saskatchewan, Coastal GasLink also ordered pipe from Asian mills in order to meet a construction schedule. Those latter shipments began arriving late last year at the port in Stewart for shipment by truck to the laydown yard north of Kitimat.
Pipe has also been arriving in the northeast in Chetwynd and more pipe will be arriving now by rail in Houston for storage at a laydown yard there until it is needed.
Based on Coastal GasLink’s construction schedule updates, 52 per cent of the route of Section 8, the last of the eight pipeline sections beginning in the northeast and ending at Kitimat, has already been cleared.
And as of the end of 2019, 11,000 metres of pipe has already been stockpiled north of Kitimat with deliveries to continue until spring 2021.
The Kitsumkalum transload facility, managed and developed by the economic development arm of the Kitsumkalum First Nation, is designed to fit the needs of companies needing to transfer material or supplies from rail to truck or truck to rail.
It’s an expansion of an existing facility which provides material from the adjacent rock quarry also owned by Kitsumkalum.