Trans Mountain has suspended non-essential travel and some employees are working from home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but work on its pipeline expansion project hasn’t yet been disrupted by the virus.
“We have not experienced any delays to construction or impacts to pipeline operations at this time,” a statement from the federal government-owned company. “We will continue to operate the Trans Mountain pipeline, a critical piece of national infrastructure.”
Trans Mountain said it remains in close contact with its construction contractors and is following the advice from government and health officials, such as social-distancing protocols and requiring workers to quarantine if they have travelled outside of Canada.
“This is a dynamic situation and we will continue to respond in a thoughtful, balanced and disciplined way and consider all new and emerging guidance coming from government and health officials,” the statement reads.
Employees working out of Trans Mountain's head and regional offices are working from home if practical while those constructing the expansion project continue to work onsite, but are following recomendations form Health Canada such as proper hygiene and social distancing.
Additional measures, such as restricting non-essential personnel from enterimng control centre buildings is also in place, according to the company.
As it continues to monitor the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic, Trans Mountain said it plans to take action, with the goal of maintaining a safe work environment, minimizing the risks of virus spread and ensuring the safe operation and construction of the project.
Work on the pipeline expansion has already started in Alberta and the Lower Mainland, with more construction across the pipeline route, including 28 kilometres in Kamloops, expected to begin this spring, including plans to cross the Thompson River in March and April, a company spokesperson told KTW.
The twinned pipeline route through Kamloops will run along the edge of the Lac du Bois Grasslands above Westsyde and Batchelor Heights before crossing Ord Road and Tranquille Road near Kamloops Airport, according to the company’s website.