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REPORTING · 26th October 2012
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council saw a presentation on Monday, October 15th, by Rick Gateman, the President of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project who had a project update for them. Earlier that night, they held an open house at Riverlodge.

“We are a fairly large North American Energy Infrastructure Company, been in operation for 60 years,” said Gateman. “We have about 68 thousand Kilometres of Natural Gas pipelines and also, over the last 15 years, become a very large power company.”

He said their core values are integrity, responsibility, collaboration and innovation. They live these and what they do. They try to do the right thing at the right time, dealing with landowners, aboriginals and communities.

The pipeline which they are proposing will bring LNG from 700 Kilometres away, in the Montney Region of BC to the LNG Plant which Shell is proposing in Kitimat.

“This will be a large pipeline, 48 inch interior diameter. We have a conceptual route, and we call it that because we don’t refine the route because we don’t define the route until we do additional work on the ground, in the communities, in the Geography, topography, environmental, First Nations Issues, Community Issues, constructability, safety, all of these things factor into us finalizing this route,” said Gateman.

He expected it to travel from Dawson Creek where it connects to their existing pipeline system. It is expected to come into Kitimat through the West rather than through Mount Nimbus. The pipeline will cross the existing Kitimat River and end near the Methanex Plant. It will carry 1.7 billion cubic feet of gas which will require one compressor station. If the gas flow needs to expand to meet Shell’s needs, it can be increased to up to 3.4 billion cubic feet per day.

Gateman expressed there will be a lot of jobs during construction. He estimated there will be 3000-3500 jobs although it could be more or less. They will hire locally to the extent they could and also get their supplies locally as well. They also invest in those communities as well.

They are currently getting their information together to file with the BC Assessment Office and will file at a later point with the BC Oil and Gas Commission. There will be a Canadian Environmental Assessment as a part of the BC Assessment. They will also be applying for permits both Federal and Provincial.

The Fieldwork will start in 2013. He expects there will be a year of work done assessing the areas along the right of way. There will be studies about the people on the land and the use of the land as well. The application is expected to be filed in 2014.

Right now, they are contacting land owners on the route. They are contacting land owners on either side of the route and are getting input from everyone. They are trying to be as transparent and open to engagement as they can be.

Gateman stated there are 30 First Nation Groups along the way and they are being consulted and relationships are being built.

“Our environmental protection plan will govern our construction and our operations,” said Gateman.

The pipeline will be buried, with the exception of pressure stations and metre stations. The lands will not change hands and the surface will be restored to its original state, the vegetation will be replaced but the trees will be kept off the right of way.

The pipeline will be built of top quality steel welded with modern techniques. They are inspected, checked for leaks and monitored 24/7. They have an established emergency response. The biggest issue is someone digging and not knowing it’s there. They are a big part of the public awareness of call before you dig.

Councillor Rob Goffinet asked if there were other supply issues other than Shell. He was told the first 300 Kilometres will be available to other gas companies. It would allow shippers to take out shipping projects. Other LNG projects could use it to get part of the way to Kitimat.

Councillor Phil Germuth wanted to know what the difference between a natural gas pipeline to an oil pipeline. He was told the construction techniques were similar. However, an oil pipeline uses a pumping system rather than a compressor system.