Coastal GasLink’s workforce numbers are set to increase from 963 to 2,787, ahead of the spring thaw.
B.C.’s Provincial Health Office and Northern Health have authorized Coastal GasLink to increase their workforce over the coming weeks, as stated in the Feb. 19 construction update from the company.
CGL, along with many other industrial projects had been imposed with updated workforce limits by the public health order on Jan. 12 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The increase in the workforce would mean resumption of the pipeline company’s indigenous construction monitoring and community liaison (CMCL) program that focuses on addressing environmental, safety and integrity risks, according to the letter.
All of the 2,787 workers will be distributed across the various sections of the 670-kilometre pipeline route.
“I want to be clear that the added workforce does not enable significant construction re-mobilization at this time,” the letter said.
According to the company, development of their new COVID-19 management plan has been an important step in getting the approval in the increased workforce.
Under the plan, the pipeline company has restricted travel to local communities as well as between workforce lodges.
Meanwhile by the end of January, there were 613 workers across the pipeline route and that number increased to 963 field workers as of Feb. 17.
CGL also had one new COVID case associated with section 1, west of Dawson creek to south of Chetwynd. However, according to company officials, the case has not affected workforce accommodation.
With the new case, there have now been 81 COVID cases associated with the pipeline since March last year.
In terms of workforce numbers, by the end of January there were 71 workers at the Vanderhoof Lodge which is in section 4 of the pipeline route. This section stretches from north of Prince George to the northwest of Vanderhoof.
Whereas, section 5 which stretches from north of Vanderhoof to south of Burns Lake, had 26 workers at Little Rock Lake Lodge near Fraser Lake; section 6 which stretches from south of Burns Lake to south of Houston had 93 workers at the 7 Mile Lodge in Burns Lake; and section 7 which stretches from south of Houston to north of Morice Lake, had 32 workers at the Huckleberry lodge in Houston.
While almost 90 percent pipe installation work has been completed in section 4, almost 5.3 percent has been completed in section 5 and 17 percent in section 6. No pipe installation work had started as of end of January in section 7.
According to CGL’s update, while the construction has slowed down considerably across its route, there has been a 0.2 percent increase in construction progress over the month of January.
With a file from Sarabjit Kaur