One of the many trucks that rumble over Kitimat’s Haisla Bridge daily carrying trailers to LNG Canada’s Cedar Valley Lodge workforce accommodation camp. The company recently began night-time vibratory piling at its offloading facility, a process that is expected to last for six to eight weeks. (Photo Gerry Leibel)

LNG Canada begins night-time vibratory piling at offloading facility

The company says night piling is expected to be required for six to eight weeks

LNG Canada has recently began night-time vibratory piling at its offloading facility, however the company says the sound increase from the neccessary work is expected to be less than a decibel (dB) at nearby Kitimaat Village.

The work will be done with a vibratory hammer, which allows workers to drive sheet piles into the soil by generating specific vibrations in the soil around a desired spot in order to reduce the natural resistance of the soil and place objects into it.

In a update posted to LNG Canada’s prime contractor JGC Fluor’s website the company noted this is an extension of already-ongoing work to complete the site.

“Work is well underway to construct the LNG Canada Project Materials Offloading Facility (MOF), which is located between Rio Tinto’s Terminal B and the former Methanex causeway,” they said. “As part of this work, piling has been occurring between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.—seven days per week—since late November 2019.”

The night-time piling will start as early as April 14 and is expected to last for six to eight weeks. The company says this is being done out of neccessity to meet critical schedule requirements. An impact hammer will not be used during the night-time operations.

READ MORE: LNG Canada to halve its Kitimat workforce

The contractor said public impacts from the project have been estimated to be minimal. “Our recently-completed noise monitoring showed the expected increase of noise from night piling to be less than one dB at Kitimaat Village and 1.5 kilometres away,” the release notes. For comparison, the average conversation is typically measured somewhere between 60-65 dB from three feet away.

Once construction is complete the MOF will be used for unloading LNG-processing modules, slated to start being delivered to the site via marine transport in Summer 2021.

In COVID-19-related news, JGC Fluor’s latest COVID-19 update reiterated a focus on essential activities to the development while maintaining a committment to safety and environmental protection. “We are proud to announce that the LNG Canada Project reached ‘Goal Zero’ on site in March: zero harm to people, zero harm to the environment, and zero leaks,” they noted in their latest update. “This was not an easy achievement, given the varying levels of COVID-19-related effects at site and in people’s work and personal lives. We commend their resilience, patience, flexibility and care for each other.”

The contractor has taken a number of steps to combat the spread of COVID-19 at the facilities, including the daily sharing of information among local companies, First Nations, the District of Kitimat, Northern Health, first responders and other key stakeholders.
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