About construction camps
During the construction phase of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) Pipeline Project, construction camps will be built at locations along the route to temporarily house construction and management personnel. We are planning to build as many as nine construction camps, one approximately every 100 kilometres. 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. PRGT is committed to working with communities where construction camps are anticipated. Using past experience from other TransCanada pipeline projects, we engage with the relevant stakeholders to address their concerns and mitigate any potentially adverse impacts to ensure mutually beneficial outcomes. TransCanada’s previous experiences indicate that communities in the vicinity of work camps realize significant economic benefits. Many local businesses including grocery stores, pharmacies, service stations and convenience stores will experience increased activity while the camp is in use.
Pipeline construction camps range in size and duration. Large camps are needed to accommodate pipeline construction spread (section) crews. Pipeline construction workers will typically occupy a large camp for six to eight months, while they build approximately 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. Camps may remain in place for up to 36 months, allowing them yo be used for 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.
We have developed project plans that are subject to change, after we receive input from the contractors who are awarded the work. They will need to review the information and validate the plans before decisions are finalized.
Based on our current project plans, PRGT’s 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. Our intent is to minimize travel risks to employees and the public, while maximizing productivity.
Traffic concerns are one of the main reasons we proposed the camp sites be near the pipeline. While the project cannot avoid some travel on these roads, our plan is to minimize travel on the roads, making more use of our right-of-way for travel.
Our team has been able to determine most of the access requirements for the project. We will use existing access when possible. Limited new access points have been identified 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. Much of the construction traffic will make use of the pipeline right-of-way and thus help minimize traffic on the existing infrastructure.
An appropriate plan to store the pipe before it’s ready for placement has also been identified.
The tentative schedule is for camp work to begin this year, based on permits and time required to install them. A high-level timeline breakdown reflecting camp size and activities is as follows:
Each camp will begin as a small pioneering camp (approximately 22 – 400 people). Pioneer camps focus on clearing for the pipeline.
As construction progresses, each camp will grow to approximately 1,100 people. These workers will focus on installing the pipeline.
Pipeline contractors will have onsite medical support to for minor injuries or concerns. While there will be some effect on services such as hospitals, our onsite medical support will reduce any adverse impact on the local hospital. PRGT, 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 behaviours 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 local communities and will understand the 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. Based on our previous experience, we’ve seen minimal issues.
As work nears completion, each camp will reduce to approximately 200 – 300 people. These workers will ensure all of the sections of the pipe come together at road and water crossings, also testing pipeline welds. If there is still a need for the camp after this activity, less than 200 people are needed to complete reclamation and prepare the pipeline for operation.
Each camp is considered a self-contained town with its own power and water supply, sewage, housing, recreation and food preparation facilities. Water supply and waste water will be managed on site. The following groups will live in our construction camps:
- Construction workforce
- Management and supervisory staff
- Technical and administrative support
- Camp catering and maintenance services
- Safety and medical personnel Logistics services
The camps will also accommodate project visitors.
Our camps will be built with modularized trailer units, arranged into conventional construction/field camp configurations. All camps will reflect current construction workforce standards; these standards include separate quarters for men and women, along with recreation and lifestyle services such as game and movie rooms. Catering and housekeeping services will include daily facility and room cleaning, along with access to washers and dryers for personal laundry.
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.