Four new storage tanks have been constructed at Trans Mountain’s Edmonton terminal to prepare for opening of the oil pipeline expansion from Alberta to Westridge Terminal in Burnaby B.C. (Trans Mountain)

Four new storage tanks have been constructed at Trans Mountain’s Edmonton terminal to prepare for opening of the oil pipeline expansion from Alberta to Westridge Terminal in Burnaby B.C. (Trans Mountain)

Trans Mountain begins laying Alberta pipeline for expansion

Construction continues at Westridge terminal in Burnaby B.C.

Trans Mountain Corp. has begun laying pipe across the Alberta segment of its oil pipeline twinning project, expecting to have the first pipe welded, tested and buried by Christmas.

Construction so far has included completion of four new storage tanks at the federal government-owned company’s Edmonton Terminal, and continued work on the Westridge Terminal facilities at Burnaby to accommodate additional tankers for exporting crude.

Pipe is being assembled on the Greater Edmonton section, with clearing, grading, utility relocation and worksite preparations for a series of tunnel-bored sections. Horizontal drilling is planned for 13 sections on the Alberta side of the project, to cross watercourses, railways, major roads, sensitive environmental areas and urban areas, Trans Mountain said in its latest project update.

Trenchless construction is also expected to play a large role in the B.C. section of the project, where thousands of property owners have moved in along the right-of-way since the original Trans Mountain was built in 1954.

Trenchless construction is also expected to play a large role in the B.C. section of the project, where thousands of property owners have moved in along the right-of-way since the original Trans Mountain was built in 1954 to supply refineries at Burnaby and Washington state as well as tanker exports from Burnaby.

RELATED: CEO promises ‘the best darn pipeline in the world’

RELATED: Indigenous leaders choose pipelines over poverty

RELATED: Oil-by-rail traffic rises as B.C. battles Trans Mountain

The B.C. government has continued to oppose the Trans Mountain expansion, supported by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, despite increased crude by rail coming through Alberta and B.C. to Washington since the existing Trans Mountain line became over-subscribed.

In a year-end interview with Black Press, B.C. Premier John Horgan acknowledged that construction is likely to intensify an already acute shortage of skilled construction workers, as work camps and gas pipeline spreads take shape across northern B.C. to supply the LNG Canada project from Dawson Creek to Kitimat.

B.C. is using a union-only construction model to build the Kicking Horse Pass and other sections of the Trans-Canada Highway from Kamloops to the Alberta border, as well as replacing the Pattullo Bridge and building the Broadway subway line in Metro Vancouver. A skilled labour shortage is driving up costs on those projects, Horgan said.

“And at the same time we have private sector projects like LNG Canada, and potentially the Trans Mountain pipeline, that are going to be taking a whole bunch of workers out of play when it comes to public contracts, and that’s a challenge for government,” Horgan said.

From the Greater Edmonton section, the Trans Mountain right of way goes to Edson, Hinton, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Wabamun before reaching the Jasper-Mount Robson stretch where twinning was done a decade ago.

Entering B.C. in the North Thompson region, the pipeline route goes by Avola, Barriere, Blue River, Clearwater, Valemount and Vavenby, where the forest industry has been wound down due to market conditions and loss of lumber to beetle infestations and fires.

At West Barriere, another existing expansion section will be tested and activated, running from a pump station north of Barriere to a new Black Pines pump station north of Kamloops. From there the project goes past Kamloops and Merritt, then down the Coquihalla Pass to Hope.

The project proceeds down theFraser Valley through Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley, then into the heavily populated Lower Mainland through Langley, Surrey, Coquitlam and Burnaby.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureTrans Mountain pipeline

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

Just Posted

Possible COVID-19 exposures may have occurred at Alexander Elementary School on Jan. 13, 14 and 15. (Google Maps)
Alexander Elementary in Duncan announces possible COVID-19 exposures

Exposures may have occurred on Jan. 13, 14 and 15

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New street signs in Duncan in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional native names on signs

North Cowichan to add three more off-leash dog areas in the new year. (File photo)
North Cowichan adds three new off-leash areas

Trial program runs through 2021, but not the summer months

Principal Marie-Claude Carrier has overseen the opening of the Cowichan Valley’s first francophone school. (Citizen file)
Registration now open for Duncan Francophone school

École francophone de Duncan opened last fall with six students

Reggie went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park on Jan. 3 and owner Brittny Bukva is hoping for his safe return. (Submitted)
Have you seen Reggie? Dog went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park

Have you seen Reggie? Dog went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

The RCMP are reminding drivers to find alternative ways home if they have consumed anything that impairs their ability to drive. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired Island driver flees road check twice on the same night

The officer issued the driver numerous violation tickets, and a four-month driving suspension

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Most Read