Trans Mountain pipeline expansion work halted until new year

The stand down of operations includes the pipeline work through Kamloops. All work in B.C. and Alberta is on hold after a death in Edmonton in October and an injury in Burnaby on Dec. 14.

All work on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which stretches from Edmonton to Burnaby, has been halted after two accidents left one worker dead and another injured.

The stand down of operations includes the pipeline work through Kamloops, which involves crews above Westsyde, Batchelor Heights and Brocklehust, at Kamloops Airport and across the river on Mission Flats and on and next to Kenna Cartright Park.

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On Dec. 15, a contractor was seriously injured in an incident at the Burnaby terminal, where the 1,150-kilometre pipeline ends. On Oct. 27, a worker was killed at a Trans Mountain site outside Edmonton.

Work is expected to resume on Jan. 4, 2021.

“Our top priorities remain the safety of our workers and maintaining a safe work environment as we continue to work towards the successful completion of this critical Canadian project,” Ian Anderson, president and CEO of Trans Mountain, said in a release.

“Over the past two months, we have seen safety incidents at our worksites that are unacceptable to Trans Mountain. This is inconsistent with Trans Mountain’s proud safety culture.”

Anderson said the Crown corporation will use the downtime to “review, reset and refocus our efforts and those of our contractors and their workers.”

Anderson said about 20 per cent of the project has been completed, with 2021 expected to be the peak construction period, with thousands of people working in hundreds of sites across Alberta and British Columbia.

“ It is during this time when one of the greatest risks to the Project becomes worker safety,” Anderson said.

The federal government bought the pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion in August 2018 and the expansion project is expected to cost $12.6 billion. Once completed the pipeline route’s capacity will triple, being able to carry 890,000 barrels of crude and refined oil per day from the current volume of 300,000 barrels per day.

The pipeline has oil receipt points at Edmonton, Alberta and Kamloops. At Kamloops it also delivers products. At the Sumas delivery point, the Trans Mountain Pipeline connects with the Puget Sound Pipeline, owned by Trans Mountain Pipeline (Puget Sound) LLC, which delivers oil to four refineries on the west coast of Washington state.At the Burnaby Terminal, connecting pipelines enable deliveries of crude oil and refined petroleum products to Parkland’s Burnaby Refinery and to Suncor’s Burrard refined products marketing terminal.

© Kamloops This Week



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