Ray Carrier is the President of Coastal Construction Aggregates Inc., a mining and construction company based in Smithers, British Columbia, and is watching the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) project closely. Ray hopes his company will be selected to provide material for the 110 kilometre underwater leg of the project, which would enable his company to triple its employee base from four employees to 12 or more staff.
“I’ve been tracking the project quite closely for the last year and a half and am totally encouraged to see things are still moving forward,” Ray says. “I’ve subscribed to the PRGT vendor site already, I’ve put (company) information into the system, and I’ve made contact with people on the coast who are working on this project…Hopefully TransCanada will get in touch with local contractors to try and get people interested and excited about work. There’s no question, it’s a great opportunity for companies like Coastal Construction to expand and get people on the job.”
Earlier this year, representatives of TransCanada’s PRGT and Coastal GasLink B.C. pipeline projects went on a swing through communities along both routes to talk to local contractors about opportunities to take part in the 4,500 to 5,000 contracting and employment opportunities the projects will offer.
“Coastal GasLink and PRGT have made a real commitment to partner with First Nations companies and local businesses and provide significant economic benefits for British Columbians. Some of those benefits include thousands of short-term, high-paying jobs and contracting opportunities over years of construction, investments in community partnerships, and millions of dollars in annual property tax payments when the pipelines are in operation,” said Rick Gateman, president of Coastal GasLink. “Our projects will rely on the availability of qualified local businesses and individuals, with most opportunities provided through prime contractors or their sub-contractors. Our prime contractors will be required to include local and Aboriginal participation plans in their bids. Our goal is to ensure that local companies, employees and First Nations can access the opportunities on these projects to the greatest extent possible.”
PRGT President Dean Patry says Coastal GasLink and PRGT have been getting a “great response” from B.C. businesses and contractors along the routes. “We got a great deal of interest,” he said following a stop in Smithers. “Obviously people are very in tune with the potential (of the projects). There’s an awful lot of great questions being asked about what these projects mean and what drives them, how the decision makers behind them are thinking, and of course most importantly, if these projects advance, what does it mean to local communities. We got quite a tremendous response today.”
Dean Allen liked what he heard. “I thought it was very good,” says Dean, president of Summit Camps, a camp and catering supplier for industry. If Summit Camps secures a contract, Dean has big expansion plans and will hire lots of local workers from Smithers and the surrounding area. “I am optimistic that the business community in the northwest will have the stature to stand up, and be able to take on some of the larger pieces of these opportunities – no question about it.”
Coastal GasLink is proposing to construct and operate a 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline from the Groundbirch area near Dawson Creek, B.C. to the proposed LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export facility near Kitimat, B.C. Coastal GasLink is working to be ready to begin construction in 2016, conditional on regulatory approvals and a positive investment decision by LNG Canada. The pipeline is expected to be in operation in time to supply natural gas as required to meet the in-service date of the LNG Canada facility.
PRGT has been contracted to design, build, own and operate a natural gas pipeline, approx. 900 kilometres in length, from a point near Hudson’s Hope in northeastern B.C. to Lelu Island, in the District of Port Edward, near Prince Rupert. Lelu Island is the site of a proposed liquefied natural gas facility, to be constructed by Pacific NorthWest (PNW) LNG. Once the conditions necessary for the final investment decision by PNW LNG are resolved, right-of-way clearing will begin, with commencement of pipeline construction activities shortly thereafter. PRGT expects to begin operations in late 2019 or early 2020.
During the pre-construction phase for Coastal GasLink and PRGT, some opportunities include:
- Right-of-way clearing
- Facility and storage area clearing
- Construction camp set-up
- Access road and bridge construction
- Support for pre-construction crews including:
- Vehicle and equipment supply and maintenance
During construction, some local opportunities include:
- Vehicle and equipment supply and maintenance
- Pipe and vehicle hauling
- Gravel and fuel supply and trucking
- Hotshot delivery, crew transportation
- Access road construction and maintenance
- Gravel supply, fuel supply
- Concrete, rebar, fencing, hardware, lumber
- Hydrovac (locate cables, pipelines)
- Fire protection
- Environmental monitoring
- Administrative and clerical
- Right-of-way reclamation
PRGT and Coastal GasLink have designated camps, clearing, security services and medical services as some of the areas that Aboriginal businesses have indicated interest and capacity to perform the work.