All about Construction Camps
We are planning to build as many as nine construction camps along the pipeline route, once construction is approved, one approximately every 100 km. Many communities welcome the camps for the financial injection they give to the local economy, but some are also concerned about the impact they could have on local infrastructure.
TransCanada has been building pipelines for more than 60 years. We have the expertise and wisdom gained from extensive consultation with communities along our pipeline corridors who have raised similar concerns about camp locations and their impact.
- All about construction camps (4.4 MB, PDF)
We are very sensitive to these concerns and work closely with local authorities to ensure impact on local infrastructure is kept to a minimum. At the same time, we are aware of the economic benefits that local businesses can receive from having a camp nearby.
- Camp locations are based on the following criteria:
- Existing established or disturbed land
- Close proximity to the pipeline right-of-way
- Close proximity to access roads
- Anticipated travel times from camp to spread sections
Each main construction camp could have up to 1,100 beds, and be in place for between one and three years, depending on the location.
Camps will be contracted to First Nation companies who have a joint venture with qualified camp vendors.
We are very open in our discussions with local and regional authorities on camp locations within their jurisdictions, and cooperate fully with them to address any concerns.
About the campsPipeline construction camps range in size and duration according to the activities they support. Large camps are needed to accommodate pipeline construction spread crews. Pipeline construction workers will typically occupy a large camp for six to eight months, while they build about 50 to 100 km of pipe in the camp vicinity. Camp population will vary greatly over the course of construction due to the cyclical nature of pipeline work. Construction spread camps may remain in place for up to 36 months so they can be used during two or more construction seasons.
Medium-sized camps are used to support specialized work activities, such as compressor station construction or directional drilling. Medium-sized camps can be used for as long as 12 to 15 months but tend to have much smaller peak occupancy than large camps.
Small camps support right-of-way preparation and cleanup activities.
Detailed planning for camp location, size and period of operation will not be finalized until manpower and logistics planning is completed in cooperation with contractors.
Each room within a camp costs on average $65,000 to build. We anticipate costs to run approx. $300/day/person for operating (maintenance and catering).
Where the camps will be built
We have developed project plans, which can change pending input from the contractors who would be awarded the work. They would need to review the information and validate the plans before these are finalized.
Based on current project plans, this project work is divided into three sections, each covering 250 km of the land-based pipeline. Each section will have three camps to support the project work. The intent is to balance the number and location of camps to minimize travel risks to employees and the public, and to maximize productivity.
Traffic concerns are one of the main reasons we proposed the camp sites to be near the pipeline. While the project cannot avoid some travel on these roads, our intent is to minimize travel on the roads and make more use of our right-of-way for travel.
TransCanada has been able to determine most of the access requirements for the project. We will use existing access to the extent possible. Very limited amount of new access has been identified as being required to support the project. It is expected that some decommissioned roads will be re-commissioned for the construction period and then decommissioned again.
Our planning process looks at the potential for increased traffic and the resulting impacts. Locations of the camps in relation to the project are part of this traffic management plan. Much of the construction traffic will make use of the pipeline right-of-way and thus help minimize traffic on the existing infrastructure.
The project has also worked to identify the best options for pipe storage.
The tentative schedule is for camp work to begin this year, based based on permits and time required to install them. A high-level timeline breakdown reflecting camp size and activities is as follows:
Early 2015 and last for 24-36 months
- “Pioneering” camp size of approx. 200-400 people (installed once the permits are in place);
- Focus of work would be on clearing activities, preparing the right-of-way for the pipe, preparing and executing horizontal directional drilling (HDD) work.
Late 2015 and extend for 16-24 months
- Camp size would expand to approx. 1,200 people;
- Focus of work would be on pipeline installation;
- Once this work is completed, the camp would reduce in size and remain at this location until it is no longer required.
Late 2017 and extend for 6-12 months
- Camp would reduce to approx. 200-300 people;
- Focus of work would be tie in all the sections of pipe together (e.g. installations at watercourse and road crossings, pipe testing, 2-3 valve installations, etc.);
- Once the work is completed, the camp would be removed;
- If there is a need to extend the camp longer, for example to late 2017 due to availability of material, then the camp would further reduce to being under 200 until all the work is completed (e.g. final reclamation and commissioning of the pipeline).
Impact on local services
The pipeline contractors will have onsite medical support to deal with the daily minor issues that may arise. While there will be some effect on services such as hospitals, the availability of onsite medical support will greatly reduce any adverse impact on the local hospital. TransCanada along with our pipeline contractors will implement a proven drug and alcohol program. All workers go through a pre-access screening. There are also protocols for testing for cause. All workers sign a project agreement that identifies the expected behaviors for work and after work hours. Failure to comply will result in dismissal from the project.
All workers will be educated on the possible impacts to locals and communities and will be educated on the critical importance of being a good neighbour. TransCanada has a great deal of experience with this and it is an issue that we take very seriously. Similar camps have been installed near communities in the past and there have been very minimal issues.
What a typical camp looks like
Each camp is a self-contained town with its own water supply, sewage, housing, recreation and food preparation facilities. Work and staff groups living in camps will include:
- Construction workforce
- Management and supervisory staff
- Technical and administrative support
- Camp catering and maintenance services
- Safety and medical personnel
- Logistics services
In addition, the construction camps will be able to accommodate project visitors.
Camps will be built with modularized trailer units, arranged into conventional construction/field camp configurations.
All of the camps will reflect current construction workforce standards. These standards include separate quarters for men and women and recreation/lifestyle services such as game and movie rooms. Camp catering and housekeeping services will include daily facility and room cleaning and access to washers and dryers for personal laundry.
The camps will have their own power sources, Water supply and waste water will be managed on site. People, equipment and supplies will be brought into the camps using various methods of transportation, depending on the season.
We will establish clear rules to ensure safe and harassment-free camp and work environments. These rules will prohibit the possession of illegal drugs and will have no tolerance for harassment. Firearms will be prohibited.
Access to and from nearby communities will be restricted as appropriate. When the camps are no longer required, they will be decommissioned. The camp sites will be reclaimed on a site-by-site basis according to standards agreed to by landowners and regulators.